Kenya continues to lose out in the lucrative shipping industry as it continues to rely on ships for hire to transport its exports.The hope that one day the country could own its own shipping line continues to remain a mirage despite its neighbour cashing in on the high freight.

The Ethiopian Shipping Lines (ESL) continues to carve a niche in the world’s shipping industry as Kenya National Shipping Line (KNSL) shows no hope of owning its vessels soon.Maritime experts are now calling on the government to offer incentives to private entities interested to buy ships that could fly the Kenyan flag.“The dream that the country would one day own a ship, which led to the formation of KNSL in 1989, has died,” says Wilfred Kagimbi, Kenya Maritime Authority chief surveyor and receiver of wrecks.

Mr Kagimbi says KNSL dream has been overtaken by time as other African countries which purchased their own vessels have already relinquished management to private hands.

Shipping to Africa and especially to Kenya and adjacent countries is normally done by reliable shipping lines like African Shipping Line based in Dubai and other Major Lines. Freight goods include RO-RO cargo, Break bulk, project and containerized cargo mostly to Kenya and Tanzania ports that leaves for Interior.

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