26 February 2013

Tanzania: Dar es Salaam Cargo Transportation Improves - Study

Dar es Salaam — Amidst existing shortcomings in the transport sector, it has been revealed that cargo transportation has grown in Tanzania in the last five years.

According to a recent study seen by East African Business Week, the transportation of cargo has recorded a growth of 400%.

A study which was conducted by Tanzania Truck Owners' Association (TATOA) shows that the sector has also managed to transport 95% of both domestic and transit cargo despite existing shortcomings.

"Some of the shortcomings include road barriers, queues at the border points and road accidents involving a number of trucks," the association's Chairman, Mr. Seif Seif said.

Seif noted that to address the shortcomings for the sector to realize more growth and garner more national income, the collaborative efforts are needed among the stakeholders.

"We are operating under strict competition from our competitors in neighbouring countries.

"This calls for cooperation to make sure cargo is timely cleared from the Dar es Salaam Port ready for transportation," he added.

He mentioned ports that are posing serious threats to the Dar Port as Mombasa in Kenya, Beira and Nakara in Mozambique, Durban in South Africa and the fast upcoming Walvis Bay in Namibia.

He said it is high time Tanzania improved its ports services to international standards to attract more potential customers for truck transport sector to win more jobs and create more employment and revenues.

Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Dr William Mgimwa said that TATOA and its stakeholders should strive to provide professional services in order to contribute more to the country's Gross Domestic Product (DGP).

Mgimwa commended it for creating over one million employment opportunities so far but challenged it to remain trustful and make sure cargo was timely delivered to their destinations.

He said the government had a lot of priorities and financial obligations but would keep on giving more weight to improve road infrastructure.

"We will make sure cargo transportation is given security it deserves, but we will also review and improve policies touching your sector to see it grows faster than it is doing now," he said.

Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, the Transport Minister has commended TATOA for managing to transport 43 million tonnes last year but said there was a room for improvement.

However, Dr Mwakyembe cautioned TATOA to procure and install modern technologies to the trucks especially those carrying fuel to avoid regular leakages of oil that can be dangerous to lives and environment.

He said the issues of congestion at Tunduma border point, road barriers and dual carriage way would be addressed as well as the possibility of handing over the Morogoro based Kihonda Driving College to the Association as per request.

He added that the government would work on the cumbersome inspection procedures at the border points but challenged the Association to maintain integrity and ethics.

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