TANZANIA Shipping Agents Association (TASAA) has pushed for speedy revival of the country's central railway and Tanzania Zambia Railways to sustain the competitiveness of the Dar es Salaam port, saying over dependence on road transport was risky.
TASAA board of trustees' member Emmanuel Mallya, speaking at a cocktail party after the association's annual general meeting in Dar es Salaam over the weekend, said that currently trucks transport over 90 per cent of cargo, a situation that he described as unhealthy to the economy.
Mr Mallya, a retired Chairman of TASAA after a decade in leadership, said railways carry more goods and is cheap hence should complement road transportation. "For, the port to be efficient, we need a working railway system and not completely rely on road transport," he noted.
Revisiting dark days of port congestion in 2008/9 season, Mallya who is also Executive Chairman of EB Maritime Limited of Dar es Salaam, pointed out that a lot has been accomplished to improve efficiency after establishment of port improvement committee.
"The association was at the forefront of the fight against ECTN that was going to cost the industry hundreds of millions of dollars," he noted.
The electronic cargo tracking note was dismissed by Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority for having not followed proper procedures after TASAA filed a petition last September.
Mallya also commended Tanzania Revenue Authority, Sumatra, Tanzania Shipping Council, Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association for their cooperation which made work at the country's prime port easy.
"TRA have been doing a fantastic job and if there have been any system failures it's something isolated and normal in our routine work," he noted.
New TASAA Chairman, Peter Kirigini paid tribute to Mallya's leadership and pledged to uphold professionalism and weed out dishonest elements tarnishing the shipping industry business.
"We will do everything to ensure that what your leadership left behind is maintained and further improved," Mr Kirigini who was Honourary Secretary during the past TASAA administration said.
The new leadership also includes Anver Rajpar as Vice Chairman, Ayoub Mwabondo as Honourary Secretary, Fernando Ponti as Honourary Treasurer and Anil Patel and Peter Makani as executive committee members.