RVR-Competitors better watch out
Finally, the payment was made and RVR(Rift Valley Railways) Consortium took over the Kenya Railways for the next 25 years.Other members of the consortium are: ICDCI and Transcentury Group.
Lets concentrate on Sheltam which controls 60% of RVR.The parent company of Sheltam Pty is 50% owned by GRINDROD LTD a South African Listed firm.Which curiosly pulled out at the last minute-allowing ICDCI and Transcentury to get a stake.Grindrod Ltd hasn't lost out, through Sheltam it still has interests in RVR(but INDIRECTLY not directly)
GRINDROD LTD also owns shipping service copmanies like Ocean Africa Container Lines (Pty) Limited and ISS-Voigt Shipping. A Grindrod group company has a stake in a Local shipping Logistics and freight company.Keep in mind anytime that you import or export Goods through the port you have to go through a shipping line or agency.Local examples are like;Maersk,Diamond Shipping services,Transami and Kenya National shipping Line.If you have ever imported a used car -look at the documentation one of the above names is likely to appear somewhere.
Also, Grindrod has the funds to buy into any local shipping outfit.Pardon me but lets digress further.It costs more than Ksh80,000 to transport a 40'Foot container from Mombasa to Nairobi by road.By rail its more than 45% cheaper But under KR it may take more than 3 days to get to Nairobi.By road it will in Nairobi within 24 hours.
Why have i set out all the information above?
To put it mildly ,Grindrod/sheltam are now the most significant transport and logisics group in Kenya and more so in our landlocked neighbours that depend on the port of Kilindini.Firstly,Grindrod has the ships/shipping lines and freight companies that can facilitate ocean based transport.
Secondly,It now controls the Kenya-Uganda Railway(through RVR and Sheltam).When this rail is up and running(efficiently).It will pose a significant challenge to road based transporters.i.e. rail tends to be cheaper and safer than road transport.
Thirdly,it can easily monopolise the import/export Logistics and transportation link in the country.(In 3-5 years once the Rail system is up and running)