Mtwara Port beat performance target

MTWARA: CARGO handling at Mtwara Port has surpassed the annual target last year thanks to improved infrastructure and enhanced efficiency, the Minister for Transport, Prof Makame Mbarawa has said.

He told reporters here yesterday that cargo volume handled at the port last year had exceeded the 1.0 million annual target to 1.4 million tonnes last year.

“Port services have increased due to the modern facilities and infrastructures that we have here. We are now seeing more and different goods including cashew nuts being handled in large quantities compared to last year,” he pointed out.

The minister noted that before the improvement of the port with massive investments, the old terminal only handled 400,000 tonnes of cargo per year.

“After the improvements and purchase of modern tools, we expected the port to handle 1,000,000 tonnes of cargo per year, but it swelled to 1.4 million last year,” he added.

He thanked President Samia Suluhu Hassan for approving increased budget allocation for the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) to purchase modern equipment for Mtwara Port.

He said plans were underway to purchase a shipto-shore gantry crane that would add efficiency to work at the port.

Prof Mbarawa said two more ship-to-shore gantry cranes will be procured for Tanga Port to increase efficiency and production.

“The purchase of the equipment will increase efficiency and in turn lure more customers to prefer our ports ahead of others. “We expect to increase the Mtwara Port volume to two million tonnes come the end of this year and this is because of massive investment put at the port including having all necessary port equipment,” he added.

Mtwara Port Manager, Fernand Nyath said improved facilities including the construction of a new berth have modernised handling of the various goods, mostly cashew nuts that pass at the port in large quantities.

“One of the achievements that we have made is the transportation of cashew nuts and this is due to many port infrastructures being modernised,” said the minister.

Earlier, according to the report released by management of Mtwara in January 2024, the port was expected to handle over 200,000 tonnes of raw cashew nuts.

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