DAR ES SALAAM: THE volume of cargo handled at the Dar es Salaam Port from July to December 2023 has significantly surpassed the target by 9.6 per cent.
The target for the corresponding period was to handle 10.99 million tonnes, but the port managed to serve 12.05 million tonnes, which is 109.6 per cent.
On the other hand, the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) planned to handle vessels with Gross Registered Tonnages (GRT) of 15.6 million tonnes, but it exceeded that to 17.2 million tonnes, which is 110.4 per cent.
The GRT is the volume of space within the hull and enclosed space above the deck of a merchant ship that is available for cargo, stores, fuel, passengers, and crew.
At the Dar Port, a total of 979 ships were handled, equivalent to 123.6 per cent of the target of 792 ships, according to TPA’s Director General, Plasduce Mbossa.
Mr Mbossa made the statement yesterday during a press conference held in Dar es Salaam, attributing the significant increase in cargo traffic to strengthened economic diplomacy and a diversified marketing strategy to reach many customers.
“The increase in ships at the Dar es Salaam Port is a result of integrated efforts, including decisive marketing campaigns through face-to-face communication and meetings with our customers within and outside the country, to update them on the latest improvements in our services after the Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Programme (DMGP) and the procurement of sophisticated machines to improve delivery,” he said.
To continue serving the Eastern and Southern Africa market, Mr Mbossa said TPA has strengthened its eight overseas marketing offices in countries including Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Uganda, stating that these offices bring foreign customers closer to TPA.
He revealed TPA has been reducing charges on containerised cargo to match market prices while exempting charges for cargo destined to some bordering countries, including Zimbabwe and Malawi, in order to boost cross-border trade and shipping at large.
Mr Mbossa said that so far, the country’s main gate handles an average of 100 ships, which is above the benchmark of 70 ships, arguing that the more TPA serves many ships, the more the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) collects revenues.
He said the operation of the Kwala Dry Port also offers relief to customers, as they have been enjoying free storage of their containers for up to 30 days for local customers and 60 days for foreigners.
Moreover, he said the government has set a discount on transport fees through the Tanzania Railway Corporation’s (TRC) cargo train from Dar es Salaam to Kwala for transporters to operate profitably.
Mr Mbossa noted that the execution of various strategic projects, including the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Plant (JNHPP), has contributed to increased ships for importing materials for construction.
The number of containers increased drastically, as the port served about 550,000 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs), equivalent to 103 per cent of the target, which was about 496,000 TEUs.
Nevertheless, he said the number of passengers travelling through the port from July to December was about 987,000, equivalent to 98 per cent of the target of over one million passengers.
In terms of revenue, Mr Mbossa said TPA has generated a total of 573bn/- from the set target of 694bn/- because some importers did not settle payments for their cargo.
“Normally, customers pay when processing the release of their cargo from the port. This is the reason why some consignments can be noticed on the list of those received at the port but not on the list of those that have been paid for,” he said.