he East African Business Council (EABC) board early this week held discussions with the Director General of the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) Mr. Plasduce Mbossa on solutions to boost port performance to increase export competitiveness of the EAC bloc. The board was led by Chairperson Ms. Angelina Ngalula.
Ms. Ngalula called for streamlining and coordination among the trade facilitation agencies in the transport and logistics value chain from the port to the destinations to ease the movement of cargo within the EAC bloc and boost Dar es Salaam port performance.
“Dar es Salaam port has the capacity to serve 13 million tons of cargo per year and envisions boosting capacity to 30 million tons by 2030,” Mbossa said,
He further explained that TPA has set up a One Stop Centre hosting import and export agencies to improve Dar es Salaam port performance. There are also new developments that include a new berth in Mtwara port and the increase in depth of the Tanga port.
TPA is also setting up the latest equipment and technologies to improve efficiency, security, and customer service delivery. Mr. Mbossa added that TPA is committed to embarking on the construction of the Bagamoyo port and called for public-private partnerships.
The increased number of births, equipment, and technologies has enabled mega vessels of 6000-8000 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU) to call to the port of Dar es Salaam.
On his part, Mr. John Bosco Kalisa, EABC CEO applauded the tremendous improvement in the performance of the Dar es Salaam port and stated that 80% of Rwanda cargo passes through the port of Dar es Salaam. Mr. Kalisa urged TPA to benchmark performance with Durban port of South Africa in order to enhance export competitiveness of the EAC bloc in light of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).
Mr. Antoine Muzaneza, EABC Vice Chairperson urged the Tanzania Railway Cooperation (TRC) to increase the number of wagons to the Kigoma route to facilitate trade destined to Burundi and waive storage charges due to unforeseeable circumstances.
In July this year, the freight forwarding sector in Tanzania was reprieved after the Tanzania Shipping Agencies Corporation (TASAC), amended the law that had initially given the industry regulator an exclusive mandate to clear goods, a move that will provide relief to over 1000 clearing and forwarding firms in Tanzania.
The announcement which was made through the public notice made clarifications on the type and number of goods that TASAC shall henceforth be mandated to handle.
Stakeholders in the logistics sector welcomed the move as one that will safeguard the interests of the freight forwarders in Tanzania by deterring conflict of interest by the regulator.