Kenya - 2.1.3 Port of Kisumu

Port Overview 

Kisumu port, which is positioned in Kisumu Central Constituency, in Kisumu Town, in Kisumu County, in Kenya is under the management of Kenya Port Authority (KPA). It is situated on the shores of Lake Victoria, the second largest freshwater lake in the world. The Port is one of the ports on Lake Victoria that offer organised shipping services on the Lake. The other ports are, Port Bell and Jinja in Uganda; and Mwanza, Bukoba, and Musoma in Tanzania. Out of these ports, Kisumu, Mwanza, and Port Bell are the largest, in terms of throughput. Inland shipping on Lake Victoria forms a vital component of an intermodal supply chain along the Central and Northern Corridor linking to Mombasa and Dar es Salaam ports. The port links Kisumu to Port Bell in Uganda and Mwanza in Tanzania, using rail ferries that carry rail wagons loaded directly from rail tracks in the three ports.  



The port occupies 17.5 hectares of land with a stacking area designed to accommodate a throughput of 15,000 TEUs per annum. Similarly, taking Kisumu’s 2014 import figure of 21,943 tons as a starting point, and considering all developments and economic growth, Kisumu’s local cargo imports are estimated to increase to 130,000 tons by 2025, and further to 180,000 tons by 2035. The Port which has been underutilised for over 20 years is in operation after being refurbished at a cost of KES 700 million 

Currently, the Port of Kisumu operates only at a fraction of its capacity and former throughput. Due to the deterioration of the rail connection from Mombasa to Kisumu, transit cargo volumes have decreased steeply over the last decades. The port still handles some of the local cargo and specific transit cargo. However, all cargo volumes have dwindled, due to a lack of critical mass and the reliability of the transport system. Lake ports have RoRo ramps, and all break bulk is handled manually. The port of Kisumu exports: Edible Oil, Gas Oil, Steel Billet, bagged fertilizer, ceramic tiles, and assorted nails among other products in small quantities. Exports through the port include sugar, iron sheets, cotton seed cake and Sorghum. 

Port website: 


Port Location and Contact 



Province or District 

Kisumu County 

Nearest Town or City 

with Distance from Port 


3.4 Km 

Port's Complete Name 

Kisumu small Port 





Managing Company or Port Authority 


Kenya Port Authority 

Management Contact Person 

​​Managing Director, Capt. William K Ruto​ 

Nearest Airport and Airlines with Frequent International Arrivals/Departures 

Kisumu international Airport 

Port Picture 


Kisumu port facilities are grouped in a wide area of land some 6ha in size including; a 262m quay, a rail-wagon ferry pier, including 90 meters of berthing space alongside the pier, on reclaimed land, almost perpendicular to the main quay, a warehouse measuring 50m by 16m on the main quay, a 3,000 m2 paved storage area directly behind the warehouse, and offices for the harbour master, customs, and police department. 


Description and Contacts of Key Companies 

Customs and all other key regulatory bodies are available at the port to ensure smooth clearance of cargo. 

For more information on port contacts, please see the following link: 4.4 Port and Waterways Companies Contact List. 


Port Performance 

​​​Cumulative Cargo Through-put Report from 1st August 2017 to Date: -​​ 

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​​​Vessels Reg.​​ 








​​​Export (tons)​​ 








​​​Import (tons)​​ 








​​​Total (tons)​​ 









​​​Average Monthly Vessel Calling & Cargo Through-put​​ 

​​​No of Vessels​​ 

​​​Export (MT)​​ 

​​​Import (MT)​​ 

​​​Monthly Cum. (MT)​​ 






Main Export include gas Oil, Steel Billet bagged fertilizer, ceramic tiles, and assorted nails.​​ 

​​​Main imports include bagged sugar, iron sheets and sorghum ​​ 

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The Inland Container Depot Kisumu (ICDK) is in Kibos in Western Kenya on the shores of Lake Victoria along the Kibos road in Kondele. The facility is linked to the Port of Mombasa by railtainer service. The volume of cargo handled at the revamped Kisumu port jumped to 17,735 tonnes in 2019, a 62 per cent increase compared to 2018 due to improved efficiency and a surge in trade. Data from Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) shows the volume of cargo shipped through the Kisumu port jumped from 9946 tonnes in 2018 to 58,289 tonnes in 2022 which is a 17% increase. The rise in cargo was buoyed by a strong second-half performance, reflecting better efficiency and an overall improvement in trade among partner states of the East Africa Community (EAC). The number of vessels using the port also increased to 41 in 2019 compared to nineteen the previous year, representing a 116 per cent jump. The upgrading work included concreting of the port yard, construction of the quayside, repairs of the linkspan, revamping the dry dock and rehabilitation of all buildings to boost efficiency. All roads within and the link roads to the port facility have also been repaired and feeder jetties and piers are also being put in place. The port has further been equipped with equipment such as forklift trucks, mobile cranes, and tractor-trailers. 

One problem the port has faced in recent decades has been the growth of hyacinth weed, which chokes off a large part of the Kisumu pier and frustrates shipping activities. 

The port has been stimulated by the growth in the shipment of goods through the port to destinations in Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, and Democratic Republic of Congo. Kisumu has also been designated a “city” by the central government of Kenya. Although Kisumu’s rank as a city has not been formalized through a charter by the central government 


Port Handling Equipment 

The preparedness of Kisumu Lake Port operations was boosted by allocating the following equipment. 





Total Quantity and Capacity Available 

Comments on Current Condition and Actual Usage 

Dockside Crane 




Container Gantries 

Not Available 


Mobile Cranes 


100% operational 

Reach stacker 


100% operational 

RoRo Tug master (with Trailer) 

Not Available 


Grain Elevator with Bagging Machines 

Not Available 



Not Available 




Fifty percent operational 

Terminal Tractor 2, 50% operational 

Marine boats 2, 50% operational 

  • The equipment is in good working condition. 

  • The Kisumu Port was privileged to have two grabs for handling bulk cargo.  


Container Facilities 

Port facilities are grouped in a wide area of land some 6ha in size. This area includes: a 262m quay, a rail-wagon ferry pier, including ninety meters of berthing space alongside the pier, on reclaimed land, almost perpendicular to the main quay. 


Customs Guidance 

Upon approval of manifest by customs, the Clearing agent can lodge an entry in the ICMS system for a consignment within the ship. The consignment is inspected by various relevant regulatory agencies and released by customs online after payment of the various duties. If exempted from duty, for exempted consignment approval is done online before final release. Upon clearing with customs, the agent proceeds to settle port charges and release consignment with KPA. Once completed, the port gives a “Pick up Order”/PUO which is effectively the gate pass to allow cargo exit from port. The whole clearing process takes on average two working days hence possible to have all clearance in place by time of ship arrival to facilitate direct delivery upon discharge. 


For more information on customs please see the following link: 1.3 Customs Information.  

Terminal Information 


The berth is multipurpose. 


No grain bulk handling facility in Kisumu port 


A warehouse measuring 50m by 16m on the main quay, a 3,000m2 paved storage area directly behind the warehouse, and offices for the harbour master, customs, and police department. 




The stevedoring service is outsourced in an arrangement between the cargo owners and gang representatives. 

Hinterland Information 

Kisumu port facilitates multimodal cargo transport from rail, road, air, and water. In the year 2023 the port realised a total of 407 trucks loading from the port.  


Port Security 

The security service is outsourced. (Details awaiting update from KPA) 



ISPS Compliant 

Yes / No 

Current ISPS Level  
(Level 1 = Normal, Level 2 = Heightened, Level 3 = Exceptional) 

Insert current level here 

Police Boats 

not available 

Fire Engines 

not available 


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