The warehousing industry in Kenya is currently experiencing increasing demand from shippers who are seeking safe storage of their shipments for distribution or onward transit to neighboring countries.
This is according to Siginon Group Managing Director Meshack Kipturgo. He attributed the increase to various factors including a growing interest in Kenya as a business hub. He says Kenya’s unique geographical position has made it a key transit point for cargo destined for the local market as well as into the region.
“Today, the growth of SMEs in Kenya has exploded and contributed to an increase in logistics services such as warehousing. In addition, a number of importers today have turned to utilization of leased factors of production which are cheaper for retailers as opposed to the importer absorbing the cost and risk of running a non-core operation such as logistics while running the enterprise,” he commended.
Siginon Global Logistics, part of the Siginon Group, is a leading logistics player that has invested heavily in warehousing to meet customer demands. Currently, the firm boasts of nearly 300,000 square feet of warehouse capacity in its Nairobi and Mombasa operations licensed to handle cargo that is general, bonded or on transit to regional destinations.
“The General cargo warehouses have the highest demand with customers largely importing shipments such as textiles, pharmaceuticals, spare parts and chemicals among other commodities”, added Winstone Akweyu, the Operations Manager at Siginon Global Logistics.
Akweyu said customer experience in warehousing primarily focuses on assuring the customer of cargo safety as well as ease of accessing the goods while in the warehouse. He said this can be attributed to the tonnage and value of cargo placed in the warehouse. As such, warehouse players have invested heavily in warehouse safety and security to protect the cargo from theft or damage while in the warehouse.
“Siginon warehouses are secured with high walls, 24/7 CCTV as well as contracted manned personnel from reputable security companies. Ultimately, assuring the customer of the cargo security will give them peace of mind.” Akweyu added.
“There are a number of opportunities of automating warehouse operations through automation of storage, compact picking, zone picking, integrated picking as well as warehouse and AGV systems. Though these systems require high capital investments, the returns on business and customer satisfaction is equally high in the long run”, Akweyu added.
Logistics services are today driven more to meet the customer demands for convenience and efficient service delivery. With growth of Kenya’s position as a key business hub in the region, it is likely that sufficient investments will be made to match global and customer trends in service.