Factors influencing cargo transportation by road: A case of Maersk Sealand, transportation company in Kenya
Road cargo transportation is today a key economic sector in providing essential services for exporters and importers engaged in international and regional trade within the country of Kenya. Road transportation has however, been adversely affected by exceptionally high transport costs that characterize the region‘s transit corridors. This has been attributed to a wide range of factors including inadequate competency of the transport operators both in terms of quantity and quality leading to high loss of life, cargo and equipment through numerous accidents; low discipline and productivity of drivers and other operators; poor infrastructure; and, rampant corruption along the Mombasa- Nairobi transit transport corridor that handles most of the region‘s export and import cargo. These various factors influence cargo transportation through road significantly. A descriptive design was adopted to analyze the existing situation at Maersk SeaLand. A census was used to collect data from the target population of 57 staff at Maersk SeaLand. The research achieved an 86% response rate. It emerged that cargo transportation by road is characterized by long transit times and high cost due to inadequate physical infrastructure and inefficiency partly attributed to limited skills pool that is a common feature in the transport industry. The cost of transport was a major component of the cost of doing business for manufacturers in Kenya and the Eastern African region. Transport services constitute a key component of Kenya’s service sector in both their contribution to the country’s employment and income generation and their role in external trade, especially at the regional level. A large proportion of the stakeholders attribute the poor state of training of transport operators to the government‘s failure to establish strong and viable training institutions at all levels of demand.