Tanzania Daily News Dar es Salaam
Displayed with permission from allAfrica.com

Efforts made by Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) to attract more cargo from transit markets have paid off after the authority recorded an increase of cargo destined to Rwanda.

According to the statement released by TPA , the first quarter of the financial year 2016/2017 which is from July to September, 2016, TPA handled a total of 228,655 tons, higher than their target of 212,500 tons.

The performance was above target by 7,155 tons, which is 3.2 percent. The statement added that cargo handled during the quarter was above 211,095 tons handled in the corresponding first quarter in the financial year 2015/16 by 17,560 tons or 8.3 percent.

TPA also has increased cargo traffic handled for domestic consumption during the quarter. A total of 2,482,144 tons were handled compared to estimated seaborne trade target of 1,800,000 tons per quarter.

“The performance was above the estimated quarter seaborne trade by 37.9 percent and above quarter budget of 2,157,147 tons by 324,997 or 15.1percent. Cargo handled during the quarter under review was above the corresponding 1st quarter of 2015/16 by 279,137 tons or 12.7percent,” reads the statement.

Moreover, in a move to speed up delivery of cargo, the government has reduced a number of checkpoints from 23 to three 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 July, this year, Rwandan 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.

Recently, TPA Director General, Mr Deusdedit Kakoko visited Rwanda and managed to meet Rwanda Business Community who use Dar es Salaam port the port of Dar es Salaam in order to hear their views and challenges they face when using the port.

He promised to work with other stakeholders to address challenges raised during the discussion. He said TPA is doing everything in its power 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 24×7 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.