Cargo traffic at Dar es Salaam Port goes up by 20%

DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA – Cargo handled at the Dar es Salaam Port between July 2012 and February 2013 has gone up to 8.31 million tons from 6.94 million tons.
The rise is equivalent to 20% of all cargo handled during the corresponding period in the year 2011/2012, according to figures from  the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and made available to East African Business Week.
“The impressive performance attributed by the heavy investments in cargo handling equipment and human resource training,” the TPA’s acting Corporate Communication Manager, Ms Janeth Ruzangi said last week.
TPA has invested Tsh20 billionn ( about $13.75 million) in the purchase of four modern cranes for loading and offloading containers at Dar es Salaam and Tanga ports.
Ms Ruzangi said that the Authority has also invested adequately in the training of people operating the state-of-the art machines.
“The modern equipment and training of our staff have boosted the morale of workers and reduced machine breakdowns, keeping our overall operational efficiency high,” Ms Ruzangi said.
She said that for the period spanning between July 2012 and February 2013, the principle port handled 83,440 units of motor vehicles, with almost 10,000 units arriving in the month of February.
According to the TPA data, in the month of February 2013, over 9,627 vehicles were handled as compared to 7,287 units handled in 2011, an increase by 32.1%.
The data shows that while vehicle imports through the Dar Port increased to 7,091 units in July 2012 from 5,915 units for the same month in 2011, the motor vehicle traffic almost doubled to 11,230 units in September 2013 from 6,757 units in September 2011.
In the period from July 2012 to February, 2013, the performance in the motor vehicle handling increased to 604 units/shift as compared to 258 units/shift recorded during the period from July 2011 to February 2012, an increase by 134.1%.
“The impressive performance was due to deployment of more drivers and transferring of motor vehicles to Cargo Freight Stations (CFS),” she said.
During the same period liquid cargo and dry bulk cargo also increased by 21.6 and 32%, respectively, because of investments in new equipment and employee training that has boosted the authority’s efficiency.
She noted that the trend of ship calls and their respective GRTs are decreasing whereas the cargo traffic keeps on increasing. “This is due to the fact that shipping lines are maximizing utilization of their ships carrying capacities to increase profit margin,” she said.
Total vessel calls handled from July 2012 to February 2013 was 592 calls as compared to 676 calls handled in the same period in 2011/12, a decrease by 12.4%.
At the same time vessels total GRT during the period from July 2012 to February 2013 was 15,872 as compared to 16,961 GRT from July 2011 to February 2012, a decrease by 6.4%.
It further said that during the period under review, overall ship turn-round time decreased from average of 5.7 days per ship to 5.4 days/ship, a decrease by 5.3%.
The waiting time also decreased from 3.1 days to 2.1 days, a decrease by 32.3%.
Due to improvement in productivity, vessels waiting time at outer anchorage has decreased up to 0.4 days in month of February 2013 compared to 2.9 days in February 2012.
Improved productivity has resulted ships to be rarely seen at outer anchorage waiting for vacant berths as they are calling at berths immediately upon arrival, the authority said.
Tanzania Ports Authority and port stakeholders including the Ministry of Infrastructure development have been taking various measures to improve Dar Port performance and efficiency.
The forum of all stakeholders, Port and Ministry known as Port Improvement Committee (PIC) at different periods has helped in improvement of port efficiency and solve the problem of port congestion of vessels at outer anchorage and cargo at the port terminals.
Dar es Salaam port continued to take various measures to improve port productivity, TPA said.
“These measures include acquiring additional cargo handling equipment and transferring containers and motor vehicles to ICDs and CFS respectively,” it said.
According to media report from Zambia, Zambian cars imported through Dar Port have been increased.
It has been reported that more than 75,000 motor vehicles were imported by Zambians through the Port of Dar es Salaam in 2012 compared to 25,000 for previous year.
Dar es Salaam port, which also serves transit cargo to and from the landlocked countries of DRC, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda, currently boasts of being among the most competitive ports within the East African region.

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