According to a statement issued by TPA, during the first quarter (July-September 2016) of the financial year 2016/17 cargo traffic handled was 228,655 tonnes, compared to the target of 212,500 tonnes. The performance was above target by 7,155 tonnes or 3.2per cent.
TPA said that cargo handled during the quarter was above 211,095 tonnes handled in the corresponding first quarter (July – September 2015) of the financial year 2015/16 by 17,560 tonnes or 8.3percent.
Meanwhile, cargo traffic handled for domestic consumption during the quarter was 2,482,144 tonnes, compared to estimated seaborne trade target of 1,800,000 tonnes per quarter.
The performance was above the estimated quarter seaborne trade by 37.9per cent and above quarter budget of 2,157,147 tonnes by 324,997 or 15.1 per cent. Cargo handled during the quarter under review was above the corresponding 1st quarter of 2015/16 by 279,137 tonnes or 12.7 per cent.
In a move to speed up delivery of cargo, Tanzania has reduced a number of checkpoints from over twenty (23) to three (3) checkpoints. This has improved tremendously the transit time from Dar es Salaam port to Rusumo which now takes three days only from the previous seven days.
In mutual interest, President Paul Kagame visited Tanzania and expressed commitment of the entire business community to use the Dar es Salaam Port as their gateway for trade.
As a way to further improve services, the TPA Director General Eng Deusdedit Kakoko visited Rwanda recently where he met Rwanda Business Community using the port of Dar es Salaam in order to hear their views and challenges they face when using the port.
Eng Kakoko noted and thanked the Rwanda business community for their support and commitment to use the Central Corridor and particularly the port of Dar es Salaam which is the most viable and cost effective gateway for Rwanda.
He promised to work with other stakeholders in order to solve concerns aired during discussions, with the aim to reduce the costs of doing business between the two countries and improve business.
Various measures have already been taken to improve efficiency at the port of Dar es Salaam and the Central corridor at large. Some of the improvements include implementation of 24x7 working hours for all stakeholders in the port and assured safety and security.
TPA has also introduced E-payment system where customers can now receive invoices and pay all port charges electronically. This has reduced the amount of time it takes to effect payments.
There are also efforts by the Government to construct a standard gauge railway system from Dar es Salaam port to Kigali and the developing of a dry port at Isaka in order to enhance cargo clearance for Rwanda.