IT is done; all large ships serving the East African region can now dock at Tanga Port.
The Tanga Port, which was operational as early as the late 1880s, has undergone massive upgrading that enables the terminal to accommodate large ships and increase cargo flow.
The expansion of this strategically positioned port on the northern coast of Tanzania will spur economic growth in tandem with the country’s quest for industrialization.
Speaking to journalists on Saturday, Tanga Port Manager Masoud Mrisha said that following the completion of major infrastructure improvements at Tanga Port, stakeholders in the shipping industry can transport various goods domestically and internationally through the northern gateway.
Improvements made to the port include expanding of the entrance and exit channels for ships, increasing the water depth from 3 meters to 13 metres, expanding the draft at the turning basin, expanding two berths to a width of 450 metres. The strategic improvements made to the port have cost a total of 429.1bn/-.
The first phase of the project which was implemented at a cost of 172.3bn/- involved expansion of the entrance channel, increase of the draft at the turning basin and procurement of modern equipment.
The implementation of the second phase of the project involved construction of new 450-metre-long berths at a cost of 256.8bn/-.
Mr Mrisha said that ships have started coming to Tanga Port in large numbers after the major improvements were made, which now allows ships to offload cargo at the berths, instead of offloading offshore.
“So far, Tanga Port has served approximately 19 large ships from different countries around the world, carrying cargo of over 100,000 tonnes,” said Mr Mrisha.
He elaborated further that significant improvements made at the port have convinced large and modern ships that previously used competing ports in neighbouring countries to start bringing their ships to Tanga Port.
“Right now, there is a large ship, BSL NODIC, with a capacity of carrying 4,967 tonnes of cargo and a length of 169.26 metres, which is being serviced at the port. We have planned to service it in five (5) shifts. Previously, this ship would have been serviced in ten (10) shifts,” said Mr Mrisha.
Last week, the shipping company Simba Terminals convinced one of the largest and most modern ships to use Tanga Port to transport its cargo from Russia to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Simba Terminals Manager Awadhi Massawe said that a total of 4,900 tonnes of general cargo were offloaded at the port by the cargo ship.
Mr Mrisha noted that the port’s efficiency has now increased, including using less time to service ships and reducing operating costs, which has led to an increase in the number of ships serviced at the port.
Tanga Port targets handling 1.2 million tonnes of cargo in the 2023–2024 financial year.
Regarding the plan to start receiving car ships at Tanga Port, Manager Mrisha said: “Last week, we met with shipping line stakeholders with a partnership with Mitsui. We held talks with them, and they said they plan to bring a car ship to Tanga Port soon. Previously, this would have been unthinkable. We will be receiving car ships from now on.”
Tanga Port is one of the three major ports managed by the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) in the Indian Ocean Corridor. It is the second-largest port in the country.
The other ports in the corridor are Dar es Salaam Port, which is the main port, and Mtwara Port, which is the third-largest in the country.