Stakeholders at the 11th National Business Council (NBC) in Tanzania have called for expansion of cargo storage facilities at the Dar es Salaam port ahead of the expected influx of cargo in the next few months.
The meeting was hosted by President John Magufuli yesterday at the State House, where it was brought to the attention of the government and invited delegates the need to invest in the expansion of the port’s storage capacity.
It is projected that cargo input from the Democratic Republic of Congo alone to the Dar es Salaam Port will almost double (45% growth) over the next three months.
Cargo handlers, the Tanzania Truck Owners Association (TATOA) raised the query pointing out that they had to face a similar predicament during the same period last year.
Due to overwhelming increase in cargo, Tanzania International Container Terminal Services Ltd (TICTS) which is the largest container handling company in the country was forced to house 500, 000 containers, double the expected amount.
Even the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) itself saw a record high inflow of cargo and was pushed to handle its largest container consignment yet, 170,000 containers.
Clearance Speed VS Storage Capacity
The development comes barely two months after the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) received overwhelming commendations in January for improvements at the port, particularly cutting cargo clearance time down to 48 hours tops.
While an official statement from TPA about the expect increase in cargo and the capacity to store it is yet to be released, it is expected that the increased speed of clearance would leverage the port’s limited storage capacity.
With the capacity to handle 4.1 million (dwt) dry cargo, 6.0 million (dwt) bulk liquid cargo and a total quay length of about 2,600 metres and with eleven deep-water berths, Dar es Salaam port handles about 95% of Tanzania international trade.
Tanzania shares a healthy socio-economic relation with her neighbouring countries and the Port of Dar es Salaam is the gateway for Malawi, Zimbabwe ,Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.
In response to the queries raised by the business community at the meeting, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said the government is willing to address the raised challenges and welcomes partnership in so doing.
The Premier said the raised challenges will be handled collectively with all related government officials and departments.