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Why it’s so Hard to Ship Goods From Canada to Kenya
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Why it’s so Hard to Ship Goods From Canada to Kenya

 

Shipping goods to Kenya is a challenge that many businesses face. Even with cheaper shipping rates, the high cost of insurance and various customs restrictions make it difficult for exporters to sell their products there. The distance, lack of infrastructure, frequent natural disasters and general instability also make it difficult for businesses to ship goods from Canada to Kenya. That being said, there are still some great opportunities for Canadian businesses. The Kenyan economy is growing rapidly thanks to a stable government and an emerging middle class, which makes it one of the top 20 fastest growing economies in the world. If you’re thinking of getting your business started by shipping goods from Canada to Kenya, read on for more information about the challenges and opportunities you’ll face in doing so.

Why is Shipping Goods to Kenya So Hard?

Shipping to Kenya is challenging because of the lack of infrastructure necessary for importing and exporting goods. For example, there isn’t a single deep-water port along the coast capable of handling large container ships. This means importers must go through multiple land-based transportations to get their goods to the coast, adding to the cost of their shipments. There is also a lack of inter-regional transportation. For example, it can take up to two weeks to drive from the capital city of Nairobi to the next biggest city in the country, Mombasa. This is because roads are mainly unpaved, and there aren’t many highways. This long distance also means transportation costs are high. For example, the average cost of a truckload shipment within the country is approximately $1.75/kg. This makes shipping goods from Canada to Kenya even more challenging, as the distance between the two countries is roughly 8,000 kilometres.

High Costs of Shipping from Canada to Kenya

Shipping goods from Canada to Kenya is a long haul, and as such, the cost of shipping such a distance is disproportionately higher than it would be for a shorter route. In addition to the distance itself, the cost of shipping goods to Kenya is also higher because of the likelihood of incurring damage. As mentioned above, roads are unpaved and often in poor condition. This makes it more likely for trucks to get into accidents, especially on long drives. Take into account the fact that the cost of insurance is higher in Kenya than in Canada, and you’ll see how shipping from Canada to Kenya can have high costs. Driving conditions are less favourable, and incidences of vehicle damage are more frequent. This means insurance companies have to pay out more, resulting in higher policy premiums.

Frequent Natural Disasters

Just a quick glance at the history of the Kenyan coast reveals a long list of natural disasters, including tsunamis caused by underwater earthquakes, tropical cyclones, flooding and landslides. This makes it more challenging to ship goods to Kenya from Canada. In the event of a natural disaster, such as flooding, roads are often completely washed away, making it impossible for trucks to reach their destinations. As such, importers often have to wait until the road conditions return to normal before resuming shipping their goods. In addition to road closures, natural disasters can also damage vehicles. This means the insurance company may end up paying for damages, further adding to the cost of shipping goods from Canada to Kenya.

General Instability in Kenya

Shipping goods to Kenya also comes with the inherent risk of doing business in an unstable country. That being said, the government of Kenya has recently made enormous strides towards creating a stable business environment. This includes enacting laws that make it easier for foreign investors to do business in the country, as well as creating incentives for domestic investors to expand their activities. The government has also shown an interest in improving the country’s infrastructure. For example, the government has partnered with the World Bank to create a national strategy for transport and logistics. This means the government is actively trying to improve the business environment in Kenya and make it easier for businesses to operate in the country. This general instability is another challenge that importers who ship goods to Kenya must face. The risk of fraud, corruption and theft is higher in Kenya, so importers must be careful when doing business there.

Bottom line: Is it Worth Shifting Goods to Kenya?

Despite the challenges of shipping goods from Canada to Kenya, the opportunities for profit are endless. The Kenyan economy is growing rapidly thanks to a stable government and an emerging middle class. This makes it one of the top 20 fastest growing economies in the world. If you’re thinking of getting your business started by shipping goods from Canada to Kenya, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, be sure to select a shipping company that has experience dealing with Kenyan ports. Second, make sure your products comply with the Kenyan Bureau of Standards and other country-specific regulations. And, last but not least, be prepared to wait. Shipping goods from Canada to Kenya takes a long time, so be patient and plan ahead.


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