Kenya Freight Transport Report

Published 08 January 2015

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Kenya Freight Transport Report

Although Kenya's real GDP grew 5.8% year-on-year (y-o-y) in Q2 2014, according to data released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics and reported by Reuters, the country's freight industry will nevertheless face headwinds in the form of the poor performance of Kenya's key export sectors over the coming years.

Kenya's key export sectors will continue to post relatively weak growth over the medium term, exerting a drag on the country's trade balance, as well as the freight industry. We predict that the deficit - and the wider current account deficit - will gradually narrow towards the end of our 2014 to 2018 forecast period due to slower import growth.

Figures from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) indicate that export revenues were, in local currency terms, 3.3% lower in the first six months of 2014 than in the same period in 2013. The falling value of the Kenyan shilling means that shipments fell by 5.0% in US dollar terms (see 'Further Depreciation Ahead', August 20).

The fall in revenue is due to both low levels of agricultural production, and weak tea prices. Government figures show that the volume of coffee exported was 9.2% lower in June 2014 - the latest date for which figures are available - than it was a year earlier. Tea volumes increased by 3.3% over the same period, but revenue still declined due to a 12.5% fall in export prices.

In 2015, we anticipate the outperformer in terms of mode in Kenya to be air freight, which is forecast to see y-o-y tonnage gains of 8.58%. Growth in the rail and maritime spheres will be more modest this year.

Headline Industry Data

  • 2015 Port of Mombasa tonnage throughput forecast to grow by 5.00%.

  • 2015 air freight tonnage throughput predicted to rise by 8.58%.

  • 2015 rail freight tonnage throughput forecast to increase 2.05%.

  • 2015 total trade set for year-on-year (y-o-y) real-term growth of 0.28%.

Key Industry Trends

Construction Of Mombasa-Bujumbura Road Starts - Upgrade work on the Voi-Taveta road (which is part...

Table of Contents

BMI Industry View
Freight Transport
Industry Forecast
Macroeconomic Outlook
Air Freight
Table: 1: Air Freight, 2012-19
Maritime Freight
Table: 2: Maritime Freight, 2012-19
Rail Freight
Table: 3: Rail Freight, 2012-19
Table: 4: Trade Overview, 2012-19
Table: 5: Key Trade Indicators, 2012-19
Table: 6: TOP IMPORT DESTINATIONS, 2005-2012, USDmn
Table: 7: TOP EXPORT DESTINATIONS, 2005-2012, USDmn
Market Overview
Industry Trends And Developments
Air Freight
Rail Freight
Road Freight
Multimodal freight
Maritime Freight
Company Profile
Kenya Airways Cargo (KQ Cargo)
Political Outlook
Long-Term Political Outlook
Table: Kenya Political Overview
Macroeconomic Forecasts
Economic Analysis
Table: GDP By Expenditure (Kenya 2011-2018)
Demographic Forecast
Table: Population Headline Indicators (Kenya 1990-2025)
Table: Key Population Ratios (Kenya 1990-2025)
Table: Urban/Rural Population & Life Expectancy (Kenya 1990-2025)
Table: Population By Age Group (Kenya 1990-2025)
Table: Population By Age Group % (Kenya 1990-2025)
Industry Forecast Methodology
Sector-Specific Methodology

The Kenya Freight Transport Report has been researched at source, and features latest-available data covering commercial transport and logistics by road, rail, air and water; industry forecasts, company rankings covering leading national and multinational operators; and analysis of latest industry trends, opportunities, projects and regulatory changes.

BMI Research's Kenya Freight Transport Report provides industry professionals and strategists, sector analysts, investors, trade associations and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the Kenyan freight transport and logistics industry.

Key Benefits

  • Benchmark BMI's independent freight transport industry forecasts on Kenya to test other views - a key input for successful budgetary and planning in the strategic freight transport market.
  • Target business opportunities and risks in the Kenyan freight transport sector through our reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments in Kenya.
  • Assess the activities, strategy and market position of your competitors, partners and clients via our Company Profiles (inc. SWOTs, KPIs, and latest activity).


BMI Industry View

Summary of BMI’s key industry forecasts, views and trend analysis covering freight transport and logistics, regulatory changes, major investments and projects and significant national and multinational company developments.

Industry SWOT Analysis

Analysis of the major strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within the freight transport sector and within the broader political, economic and business environment.

BMI Industry Forecasts

Historic data series (2008-2012) and forecasts to end-2019 for all key industry and economic indicators (see list below), supported by explicit assumptions plus analysis of key downside risks to the main forecast including:

  • Transport Sector: Total freight carried by road, rail, inland waterways, maritime, air and pipeline (mn tonnes-km/mn tonnes).
  • Trade: Exports and imports (USDmn) by category of goods (manufactured goods, food, chemicals etc.); top five import and export trade partners (USDmn); imports/exports to each global region (USDmn)
  • Port Data: Throughput (‘000 tonnes) for all major ports in the state.
  • Oil Products Prices: Price forecasts for gasoline and aviation fuel (USD/bbl) at all major global energy trading hubs.
  • Economic Indicators: Nominal GDP (USDbn); real GDP growth (%); GDP per capita (USD); industrial production (%); unemployment (%)

Market Overview

Details of the freight infrastructure in each state by segment (road, rail, air, water and pipelines). Full analysis of the competitive landscape within each segment.

Industry Trends and Developments

Analysis of the latest projects across the freight transport sector (road, rail, air, sea and logistics) including a market overview which provides an outline of the key elements driving development.

Political Outlook

The Freight Transport market reports contain a chapter detailing the political outlook of a given region, examining the domestic politics, long-term outlook and foreign policy, and assessing the impact this could have on freight and transport businesses.

Company Profiles*

Examines the short- to medium-term business strategies of key industry players. Strategy is examined within the context of BMI’s industry forecasts, our macroeconomic views and our understanding of the wider competitive landscape to generate company SWOT analyses.

The latest financial and operating statistics and key company developments are also incorporated within the company profiles, enabling a full evaluation of recent company performance and future growth prospects.


The Freight Transport reports draw on an extensive network of primary sources, such as multilateral organisations, government departments, industry associations, chambers and company reports

*Company profiles are not available for every country. Those reports instead contain information on the current activities of prominent companies operating in the market.

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'An essential, multi-faceted research tool. BMI’s thorough understanding of the major market players enables an informed – and informative – review of the sector’s actual performance, together with useful insights into current industry issues, which are topped-off with detailed and invaluable forecasts of industry and macroeconomic trends.’

Senior Research Analyst, ABC International Bank plc