Dar es Salaam — The European Union (EU) has said that shipping costs at the Dar es Salaam Port now stand at 150%, the highest compared to others in the rest of the World.
Due to this, the EU has suggested that in order to encourage more businesses to the principal port, there is need to amend the said rate since traffic to Dar es Salaam is expected to increase by 240% in the next 15 years.
The EU's Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr. Filiberto Ceriani Sebregondi told East African Business Week in Dar es Salaam that currently the cost of using the port is 24% higher compared to others within Sub-Saharan Africa.
"What makes Dar es Salaam port costlier than other ports are the delays in cargo handling," Sebregondi said during the tour of the port.
Sebregondi explained that ships using the port took up to ten days while those that chose to use the Mombasa docks took up to five days.
Responding the EU comments, the Minister for Transport Dr Harrison Mwakyembe said challenges raised by envoys have been taken into consideration.
Mwakyembe maintains that the government and the management of the Tanzania Ports Authority were doing all they could to make the port economic centerpiece of East and Central Africa.
He said his ministry welcomes criticisms and challenges because they are all aiming at improving the country's ports operations.
However he said the report which Sebregondi refers to is based on what happened up to April, this year. "Some of the items have been overtaken by the measures we have implemented," Mwakyembe said. The minister assured the delegation to work closely as a way of improving the efficiency of all ports in the country. "When you visit this port next year, I am sure you will be very pleased."
TPA's Acting Deputy Director General, Mr. Clemence Kiloyavaha, said the port had synchronized the working hours for different port stakeholders who are now working 24 hours a day, seven days a week.