A study of empty containers management by logistics firms in Mombasa
Rucha, Kingsford Muriithi
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The study had two major objectives. The first objective sought to investigate the current empty container logistics management practices by logistics firms in Mombasa. The second objective was geared to investigate and determine the challenges facing empty container logistics firms in Mombasa Data was gathered mainly through semi-structured questionnaires and interviews. Content analysis as a method of data analysis was widely used in the analysis of the data collected. Charts and Tables were also used in the presentation and analysis of the data. The findings of this study have brought out pertinent issues. Through the analysis of the data collected it was noted that there is a short fall in practices by logistics firms logistics firms in Mombasa compared to practices found else where in the world and therefore the potential for improvements largely untapped. It was also found that the customers always bear the bulk of the costs, even those associated with the logistics firm's inefficiencies. Several challenges and remedies were identified The empty containers turnaround time was identified as a key impediment because of poor infrastructural and poor management and workmanship. Management of empty container fleet was cited as a big challenge in many empty container logistics firms by many of the respondents. Other challenges identified include poor handling equipment, Shortage of storage within the port and at the empty container logistics centers, Long distance between the port and container depots, High tariffs and fees charged on empty container storage, Lack of a standardized tracking and security systems, Poor container stacking procedures at the port among others. The findings and the recommendations of this study will be of great use to the empty containers logistics players and the policy makers in the future development and enhancement of the logistics sector in Mombasa. The experiences can also be used in other regions.