Dar firm launches service to boost business for port users

28May 2020
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Dar firm launches service to boost business for port users

A DAR ES SALAAM-based financial services firm—Viaservice Financial Services Limited has launched an innovative service aimed at facilitating the logistics of cargo containers for the benefit of shipping lines and users of containers thus lowering the cost of doing business. 

The newly launched service will be implemented in partnership with the Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association (TAFFA) and the Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Association (FEAFFA).

The solution, which has been rolled out since November 2019 with a major global shipping line looks to expand to cover all carriers using the port of Dar es Salaam.

Firm’s managing director, John Mathenge said: “We provide a business-friendly alternative to container deposit which is accessible to customs agents, freight forwarders and shippers”.

The solution, according to Mathenge entails the issuance of guarantee by Viaservice upon payment of a service fee to authorized customs agents, freight forwarders and shippers, waiving the need for container deposit.

He said company has explored a sustainable solution that addresses the concerns of both, carriers and container users. He said the service is heralded as a sustainable solution that protects the interest of all stakeholders.

“You no longer need to put up hefty cash deposits to secure release of local or transit containers. Yet the shipping lines are guaranteed of prompt settlement of all dues related to delay in return, damage, and total loss of containers”, he said, adding Viaservice will in turn recover advances made to shipping line from subscribers.

Elisha Tengeni, Viaservice Commercial Manager said: “We are confident that the solution will sustainably improve users’ cash flow, boost their competitiveness, improve their relationship with shipping lines, and enhance their respective administrative and operational efficiencies”.

He said during this time when the transport logistics industry is impacted heavily by the Covid-19 pandemic, subscribers of the service will enjoy a special promotion offer (BOGO) under which clearing and forwarding agents Buy 1 Get 1 Free for their first shipment

The promotion targets all clearing and forwarding agents in Tanzania who become eligible upon signing up as users of the container guarantee solution with Viaservice.

Tengeni said the promotion has been launched at the right time considering the financial effects of the Corona pandemic on businesses in Tanzania and the region hence seeing clearing and forwarding agents benefiting from the service.

“We’re trying to reach out to as many agents at a time when the service is most needed. Viaservice is solving one of the perennial challenges facing the shipping and logistics industry. The solution will enhance competitiveness of the transport logistics sector as well as facilitate trade and transport”, said Tengeni.

Viaservice Financial Services Limited is a local subsidiary of Viaservice SA, a Swiss-based company that provides innovative solutions to the transport logistics industry.

In East Africa, like in many other parts of the world, container deposit has been flagged as a trade barrier by both private and public sector at national and regional level.

But on the other hand, delay in return, damage, and total loss of containers impact negatively on shipping lines thus the requirement of security such as a container deposit.

The new solution eliminates container deposit as security for containers while protecting the commercial interests of the shipping lines and the users of the containers.

It aims at easing the burden of Clearing and Forwarding agents and shippers to clear containers at the port faster and more efficiently all the while safeguarding the commercial interests of shipping lines.

It is also expected to increase efficiency through an online digital platform thus guaranteeing transparency, speedy operations and affording the stakeholders the convenience of working from any place.

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