Port Expansion in Dar es Salaam will prompt new Trade Boost

LOCAL shipping agents, freight forwarders and transporters are foreseeing booming business opportunities and enhanced efficiency once the expansion work at the Dar es Salaam port is completed and the envisioned electronic single window system becomes operational. Installed capacity at the country’s major gateway is presently at 18 million tonnes, but with the planned deepening and strengthening of berths at the port through the Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project (DMGP), the capacity will surge to 28 million tonnes.

Industry players were upbeat that the coming of larger ocean vessels will reduce unit cost due to economies of scale and the same time reduce the dwell time that ships have been using at the harbour. “It is as well obvious that the government will register more revenue with the booming business at the port,” the Chairman of Tanzania Shipping Agents Association (TASAA), Mr Anil Patel, stated and was equally impressed that the envisaged electronic single window system, to become operational in 16-months’ time, will do away with red tape since importers and exporters will be allowed to lodge documents electronically.

“There will be no need to shuttle from one government institution to another since everything will be done online. All responsible institutions will be connected to the system,” Mr Patel remarked. The views were supported by the Secretary General of Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association (TAFFA), Mr Tony Swai, who described the Dar es Salaam port as a ‘gold mine.’ “The port is strategically positioned; with the planned upgrading we will be able to directly receive larger ships from Dubai, China, India and elsewhere. “The shallow and narrow entrance at the turning basin have been a challenge, but this is set to change with the deepening and widening at the harbour,” he explained.

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