RISKS of Muslim terrorist attacks, which have driven tourists from Kenya, now appear to be discouraging trade into Mombasa, the major port serving East Africa.
"It could be a couple of weeks before we know what impact this will have on cargo coming in and out of Mombasa," Colchester-based Sutcliffe's Maritime told Lloyd's Loading List.
"Traffic into Mombasa has fallen off over the past couple of months and you wonder if it has anything to do with last September's Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi," he said.
The company operates regular ro-ro services to Mombasa Port carrying vehicles bound for markets in East Africa.
Claiming responsibility for attacks has been the Al-Shaabab guerillas of Somalia, angered that Kenya sent troops as part of an African Union force to counter Islamcist insurgency in 2011.
"One can't deny that Mombasa has become a dangerous place, but it's another thing to expect a dip in trade because of the terror threat. It's not like tourism where the knock-on effect is immediate," one African freight analyst argued.
In August last year, the Kenyan Port Authority announced it had installed more than 400 CCTV cameras at Mombasa Port "as part of an electronic surveillance fence".
Source : HKSG.