Importers and exporters utilizing Kenyan ports are poised to reap the benefits of the Container Guarantee (CG) solution. Viaservice Limited has taken all necessary steps to introduce this solution for the first time, which will be rolled out in the upcoming weeks.

Following a successful launch in Tanzania, where the CG solution has already generated significant gains by releasing millions of dollars previously held idle by shipping lines, Viaservice has engaged with shipping stakeholders in Kenya. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, with industry players recognizing the CG as a significant milestone in addressing non-tariff barriers along the Northern Corridor.

Viaservice’s Container Guarantee, a subsidiary of the Swiss-based Group Viatrans SA, has already secured the participation of six shipping lines in Tanzania. Furthermore, over 50% of licensed clearing and forwarding companies in Tanzania have signed up for the container guarantee service. John Mathenge, the Managing Director of Viaservice in Tanzania, expressed optimism about replicating their success in the Kenyan market, highlighting the warm reception and enthusiasm shown by Kenya’s stakeholders.

The Container Guarantee (CG) fully safeguards the commercial interests of shipping lines while providing their customers, including clearing and forwarding agents and shippers, with a flexible and business-friendly alternative to container cash deposits.

Traditionally, shipping lines required cash deposits as security for the safe return of empty containers, placing substantial financial burdens on businesses due to idle resources. These burdens translate into high costs of doing business in the region. The CG solution resolves these challenges by waiving the container cash deposit through the issuance of a guarantee by Viaservice on behalf of registered customs agents, freight forwarders, and shippers.

Morgan Lépinoy, the Managing Director and global head of trade facilitation at Viatrans, emphasized that the CG solution is not only beneficial for businesses but also for the economy as a whole. He said that by freeing up capital that was previously locked up in container deposits, businesses can invest more in their operations, create more jobs, and increase their competitiveness. He also noted that the CG solution reduces the dwell time of containers at ports and inland depots, which improves port efficiency and reduces congestion.

The CG solution is also aligned with the objectives of the East African Community (EAC) to promote regional integration and trade facilitation. By harmonizing the container guarantee procedures across EAC member states, Viaservice aims to create a seamless and standardized service that will enhance cross-border trade and reduce trade barriers.

Viaservice is confident that its innovative and customer-centric solution will transform the container logistics industry in Kenya and beyond. By offering a win-win solution for both shipping lines and their customers, Viaservice hopes to contribute to the growth and development of trade in East Africa.