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Kenya Begins Processing Trucks After Dispute Snarled Main Port

The Kenya National Highways Authority began processing trucks that had blocked the road to and from Mombasa, the country’s main port, in a dispute over cargo-weighing procedures.

Truckers obstructed the road in recent days in an attempt to pressure the authority to assess trucks based on gross weight rather than axle load, Meshack Kidenda, head of the authority, said today in the capital, Nairobi. Vehicles with a gross weight of as much as 48 metric tons will now be cleared through a weigh station for a 90-day period, backdated to May 14, Kidenda said, after which the axle-load measure will be used again.

Over 96 percent of cargo at the port is moved by trucks and land-locked nations including Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi rely on the port. The truckers favor the use of gross weight because it allows them to carry more goods, while the authority prefers the axle measure because that reduces overloading and damage to highways.

The stand-off at the Mariakani weigh bridge delayed clearance of cargo at the port and some trucking companies increased charges, Shippers Council of Eastern Africa Chief Executive Officer Gilbert Langat said in a phone interview.

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