Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and all of the Eastern Africa countris in the East Africa Community are net importers. The port of Mombasa in Kenya is the major trade gateway into Kenya, and with Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Ethiopia being landlocked, also serves as one of the major gateways into East Africa as a whole.

Import and export cargo through the port of Mombasa as at the end of 2017 stood at 29.3 million Dead Weight Tonnes (DWTs), with 1.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) cleared through the port. As at the end of 2017, the total value of imports into Kenya was KES 1.72 trillion, out of a total cargo value of KES 2.31 trillion.

Out of the total cargo throughput at the port of Mombasa in 2017, containerized cargo accounted for 38.3% against a 38.5% six year average to date. Additionally, conventional cargo and dry bulk accounted for a combined 33.6% in the same period. This is in addtion to motor vehicle imports that peaked 130,000 in 2019.

Construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) in Kenya completed in 2017 has been a major disruptor in East Africa's logistics industry. The SGR project is one of the infrastructure construction projects under the Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) aimed at development of a modern, high speed, high capacity railway for passengers and freight within the northern corridor.