FACTORS AFFECTING EFFICIENCY OF CONTAINER FREIGHT STATIONS: A CASE OF MOMBASA PORT, MOMBASA COUNTY, KENYA
PDF version
Container Freight Stations (CFS) are sea port facilities which have been touted as important
interventions that can mitigate congestion at Mombasa Port. It is therefore germane that CFS
must be efficient in the performance of their functions. The aim of this study was to
investigate the factors affecting the efficiency of CFS affiliated to Mombasa Port.
Specifically, the study aimed at determining whether the type of infrastructure present (such
as roads, port, rail, and communication network), the systems used by the CFS to receive and
release containers and the machinery/equipment employed by the CFS could influence their
efficiency. The study used a descriptive survey design to collect the pertinent data. The
target population consisted of all the 17 managers or responsible officers of the CFS at
Mombasa Port. Since the target population was small, the study adopted a census method, in
which the entire population was used in the study. Primary data was collected using
structured questionnaires while secondary data was collected through the analysis of
documents. Quantitative data summarised using descriptive statistics while inferential
statistics used to answer the research questions under study. An Ordinal Linear Regression
(OLR) model was used to analyse the relationships between the independent variables (type
of infrastructure present, systems used by the CFS to receive and release containers and
machinery/equipment employed by the CFS) and the dependent variable (efficiency of CFS).
This study is significant because there is scant literature on this subject of CFS efficiency,
and studies carried out so far on CFS efficiency have overall been constrained partly by the
lack of up-to-date and reliable data (UNCTAD, 1987). ’ Second, as nations are becoming
more “global” and their industries more exposed to the pressures of international
competition, there is a growing realization that services supplied to their industries must be
provided on an internationally competitive basis. Thus, there is a push amongst port
authorities to improve their port efficiency due to increasing competition between ports and
growing pressure from shippers for lower port and shipping charges. Needless to say, CFS
form a vital link in the overall trading chain and consequently, their level of efficiency and
performance determines to a large extent a nation’s international competitiveness. However,
in order to achieve and maintain a competitive edge in the international markets, a nation
needs to understand the underlying factors of CFS efficiency, and continually assess its
performance relative to the rest of the world so that appropriate business strategies can be
devised. It is hoped that the findings from the study will be useful to the CFS and Kenya
Ports Authority in designing optimal systems that can provide the most efficient services to
their customers in order to increase performance and competition.