THE Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) has urged neighbouring land-locked countries to continue using the Dar es Salaam Port and enjoy value for their money.
An official with TPA said on Thursday that services at the Dar es Salaam Port have significantly improved and efforts were still going on to turn around the facility through modernisation.
TPA Acting Communications Manager Ms Janeth Luzangi told a news conference the port was now highly competitive in the region.
“I encourage our neighbours to increase utilisation of the Dar es Salaam port and enjoy the new better services,” she said.
She said the port handled 12.5 million tonnes cargo in 2012/13, up from 10.9 million tonnes in 2011/12, being equivalent of 15 per cent increase.
Ms Luzangi said out of the handled cargo, 4 million tonnes was transit cargo, equivalent to 32 per cent, destined to land-locked countries.
She said that the authority, government and other port stakeholders continue with efforts to make sure that the port functions as efficiently as possible.
Ms Luzangi said cargo destined to six land-locked countries increased from 3.55 million tonnes in 2011/12 up to 4.05 million tonnes in 2012/13, a rise of 14.2 per cent.
The countries are Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.
“The increase has been attributed to conducive business climate in Tanzania and improvement of the facility by TPA,” she said.
Commenting on competition from other regional ports, Ms Luzangi said Dar es Salaam port has competitive advantage of the best geographical position and the government through TPA was working hard to capitalise on the advantages.
TPA and port stakeholders including the Ministry of Transport have been taking various measures to improve Dar es Salaam port’s performance and efficiency.
The forum of all stakeholders, Port and Ministry known as Port Improvement Committee (PIC) has helped in improvement of the port efficiency and solve the problem of congestion of vessels at the outer anchorage and cargo at the port terminals.
According to Ms Luzangi, the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the government and all port stakeholders to operate on 24/7 system is a further step to increase port efficiency.
She mentioned some of the measures as acquiring additional cargo handling equipment and transferring containers and motor vehicles to inland container depots and car freight stations respectively and the introduction and use of direct delivery of cargo from vessels.
Analysis of the last five years 2008/09-2012/13 indicates that overall cargo handled by all ports has been rising at an average rate of 13.4 per cent per year.
Cargo increased from 7.076 million tonnes in 2008/09 to 11.681 million tonnes in 2012/13.
Bulk liquid cargo through the port of Dar es Salaam increased from 2.400 million tonnes in 2008/09 to 4.355 million tonnes in 2012/13, an increase of 19.0 per cent per year.
The port has also considerably reduced theft cases from 21 to seven cases in 2012 to three cases last year