TPA new office in Zimbabwe to enhance trade

ZIMBABWE: THE Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) on Monday unveiled its new office in Zimbabwe, with the two countries vowing to closely work on addressing hitches affecting trade between them through the Dar es Salaam corridor.

In quick analysis, the TPA’s newly launched office in Zimbabwe will minimise cost of trading between the two countries.

The new office is expected to provide real time solution finding on any challenges that may arise during the cargo clearance process so as to eliminate the need for customers to physically travel to Dar es Salaam.

At the launching event, the two countries exchanged vows through Tanzania’s Transport Minister Prof Makame Mbarawa and Zimbabwean Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Transportation and Logistics, Eng Joy Makumbe.

“The opening up of this TPA Country Office in Zimbabwe cements the dedication by the Government of Tanzania to ensure and encourage the business community to continue using the TPA services and take advantage of this wider market to expand their businesses,” affirmed Prof Mbarawa, when speaking at the launching event.

Prof Mbarawa said the business between Tanzania and Zimbabwe is fast growing, where the volume of transit cars from Japan and European Countries to Zimbabwe through the Dar es Salaam Port has been rising quite impressively.

For example, during the 2020/2021 financial year, total units of cars were 14,946, while for the 2021/2022 fiscal year, total units of cars were 46,519.

This number will be more impressive for the 2023/2024 financial year, he said.

“We are also continuing with efforts through internal financing or private investors to facilitate the establishment of a Dry Port close to the Tanzania – Zambia Border so as to reduce the Transit Time, whereby cargo collection can be done at the Dry Port instead of traveling all the way to Dar es Salaam,” he assured.

Permanent Secretary Eng Makumbe said there has been a significant increase of trade between Tanzania and Zimbabwe, particularly importation of vehicles through the Dar es Salaam Port.

This has made the Zimbabwean government to take a desirable step for managing growth of the trade by resolving some challenges.

Commenting, Tanzania’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, retired Inspector General of Police (IGP) Simon Sirro said businesspeople community in Zimbabwe was satisfied with services offered at the Dar es Salaam Port.

Ambassador Sirro said the business community in Zimbabwe called upon the TPA to work hand in hand with the Embassy to facilitate economic diplomacy.

Elaborating on the expected benefits of the new office, TPA’s Deputy Director General Eng Juma Kijavara who represented Director General Plasduce Mbossa, explained that it will be providing updated information on new and ongoing projects, systems and equipment from time to time.

Another vital role of the office is to provide recommendations on credible clearing and forwarding agents.

Additionally, the Office will act as a link to all other related port stakeholders for seamless cargo flow to Zimbabwe customers.

Other tasks performed by this Office includes the provision of necessary information with regards to cargo imported to Zimbabwe through Dar es Salaam Port including vessel arrival dates.

It will also support in the verification of port charges prior to payment finalisation, provision of a step-to-step import and exportation process at the port for logistical arrangements and planning, follow up on claims lodged by customers for damages that may occasion at the Port and ensure urgent compensation is provided.

“TPA Zimbabwe Office will also assist the clients with follow up on all requests lodged by our customers and ensure timely provision of feedback as well as provision of adequate information on the list of vehicles due to being auctioned for overstaying,” he stated.

From 2020 to June 2023, over 45,000 vehicles destined to Zimbabwe had passed through Dar es Salaam Port.

This has been facilitated by the presence of dedicated RoRo Terminal which has the size of 73,000 square metres, with capacity to accommodate at least 6,000 vehicles at any given time which translates to at least 200,000 units per annum with the highest level of operational efficiency to offload 100 vehicles per hour.

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