Analyst say, If that happens, massive equipment investment would be in the works and ship turnaround cut to just three hours like they did in Dakar, Senegal, and Djibouti which they control.They are also partners and managers in Sokhna port of Egypt, Aden and Jeddah. Their entry would appreciably change the politics of the port which is simmering to inefficiencies.

DP World operates several ports in the world after it became economical to separate ownership and operation globally and it's noteworthy that the 10-year-old DP manages more than the Djibouti Port — including container, oil terminals and berths and marine services, Djibouti Airport and a free trade zone. The port has now become a byword for efficiency, especially in handling massive cargo from Ethiopia after a fallout with Eritrea, who almost exclusively handled their exports before.

DP spokesman Anil Singh said the group has been waiting for the port to complete a feasibility study, a process that would pave the way for private players. “We would want to be involved sooner than later. We have been waiting for an indication,” Mr Singh said.

Mombasa Port has lately contributed to the brisk economic growth in Kenya and the whole of East African region business relies mainly on it, Factors that saw port cargo grow by 10.7 per cent last year. In 2003, it was handling cargo estimated at 12 million tonnes annually. This has shot up to slightly under 16 million, only exacerbating the administrative chaos that have become a permanent feature of the deep-sea port. In terms of twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU), the growth has been faster at 22 per cent with a total of nearly 600,000 containers handled.

DP World says the port needs major rehabilitation and new equipment. The spokesman said they would be happy to make a difference.
“The process of making the initial changes takes between three and six months,” Mr Singh said.

Meanwhile, DP World is set to open a new container terminal in Djibouti this December and have already cut waiting time in Dakar from seven days to three hours. Mombasa certainly can do with that efficiency. Given the kind of politics surrounding the port, it is unlikely we can easily reach that efficiency level shortly though, they say.

Certainly, if Kenya wants a manager, DP World, who famously failed to secure contract for running US ports due to clearly xenophobic lobbying, would have to contend with other aspirants, including the famous Singapore PSA.