TPA: Cargo ships arrivals normal after brief decline

21Jan 2021
Felister Peter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
TPA: Cargo ships arrivals normal after brief decline

THE outbreak of COVID-19 in the world resulted in reduced traffic of cargo vessels at the port of Dar es Salaam to four or five ships per day, the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) has highlighted.

“The pandemic outbreak slightly affected performance at the port as we received fewer cargo ships. The situation has now normalized as we are receiving 12 to 15 vessels daily,” said the TPA Director General, Deusdedit Kakoko in a press conference yesterday.

 “We had no choice because the country had to impose various containment measures as well as ensuring adherence to protocols of hygiene. Revenue collections dropped slightly compared to the amount collected during the 2018/2019 fiscal year,” he stated.

Ongoing infrastructure development at the Dar es Salaam port, including the deepening of existing berths 1 to7 to 14.5 meters is meant to increase efficiency and make it the leading port in East and Central Africa, he asserted.

The project which cost 337bn/- is now at 90 percent completion pace, with berth no. 1 already operating and capable of accommodating large cargo vessels of over 50,000 tonnes and measuring 300 meters wide, he pointed out.

Other berths will be completed within three months, he said, noting that this will improve the port that was previously capable of offloading 500 motor vehicles per day, but with current improvements, over 1,000 vehicles can be offloaded at present.

“Completion of the expansion project will see the port handling vessels carrying more than 6,000 containers in total,” he affirmed.

 Plans are underway for commencement of a project to widen and deepen the port entrance channel to 15meters and up to 19 meters deep, with the work scheduled to commence next month or in March, he said.

Efforts are also being directed to improve port facilities in Tanga, Mtwara and Bagamoyo, where at Tanga port the contractor has already started working to widen and deepen the entrance channel. Infrastructure development at Mtwara port aims shall enhance service provision and improve cargo handling for Malawi, he further stated.

Anything up to 90 percent of the country’s international trade transactions transit through the Dar es Salaam port with a large portion of the cargo intended for landlocked neighbours of Malawi, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda.

Burundi depends on the port for its international cargo by 99.2 percent while Rwanda uses the port to transport 86 percent of its cargo, he explained.

Despite competition from other ports such as Beira port in Mozambique, Durban in South Africa and Mombasa in Kenya, Dar es Salaam port continues to attract a good number of general cargo vessels due to enhanced marketing strategies, the CEO more on

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