(KRA) and slow clearing systems at the Mombasa port. Mombasa port This disclosure was made yesterday during a stakeholders meeting at a Nairobi hotel, bringing together key industry players under the Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (Kifwa). We are petitioning Treasury to hold a stakeholders forum involving, clearing and forwarding agents, KRA, port authorities, shipping agents, and those in container freight stations so that we can discuss issues affecting the freight industry, said William Ojonyo, Chairman of Nairobi branch-Kifwa. He blamed the high prices on imports on delays at the various stages of cargo clearance with importers passing the extra cost to consumers. When the shipping agents or the CFS (container freight station) or the Simba system (at KRA) breaks down, clearing agents are forced to pay for storage of the goods at whatever point in the chain as long as the system is not working. This cost is borne by the consumer, said Ojonyo. Sugar or maize flour is not that expensive if it were not for the inefficiencies of the supply chain management operations, he added. Shipping agents Freight industry players discussed issues surrounding retention fee charges by shipping agents and the constant down time or sometimes very slow Simba system, an electronic cargo clearing platform at KRA. The supply chain system of any country is important for its economy. While the foodstuff we import is cheap at source, it becomes expensive because it costs more to move the cargo, said Chris Bichage, Managing Director, Eremo Logistics Ltd and a Kifwa member. The association also alleged blackmail by shipping companies, which detain release orders for consignments of other importers for non-payment and or failure to honour disputable retention fee invoices.