IN a bid to contain looming congestion at Dar es Salaam port with 27 commercial ships in the outer anchorage, the management wants all navy ships planning to visit the country's prime port to give prior notice before arrival of such vessels.
In a letter dated December 17, 2013 addressed to port stakeholders including Tanzania Shipping Agents Association (TASAA) and Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association, Dar es Salaam acting Port Manager, Awadhi Massawe, said there has been an influx of naval ships berthing at the port.
"You may further note an increase of navy ships calling at Dar es Salaam port whereby on average two ships call at the port every month. As you may be aware, navy ships require special berthing arrangement that include exclusive use of the berth and the adjacent yard area," Mr Massawe said.
He further noted that while navy ships are increasing, commercial ships are also on the increase and by December 17, there were 27 commercial ships in the outer anchorage.
"It is on the above grounds therefore, we would like to inform you that from now onwards, before making any arrangements for calling of naval ships at Dar es Salaam port, you should first consult port authority to confirm readiness to accommodate ships," he pointed out.
A senior official from Dar es Salaam Corridor Group (DCG) told the 'Daily News' yesterday that one of their ships carrying break bulk cargo has been in the outer anchorage since December 11, last year.
"Right now 21 ships are in the outer anchorage, The problem is that priority is given to navy ships, container vessels and car carriers," said the official who refused to be identified.
He further pointed out that there are reports that Messina Line has an agreement with TPA to handle their own cargo to speed up the process as TPA which is responsible for the bulk of break bulk cargo handling at the prime port seems to be overwhelmed.
TASAA board of trustees member, Emmanuel Mallya said it's sad that Dar es Salaam port is going back to old bad days when congestion involved containers in 2009.
"We now seem to be facing a bulk cargo problem which stakeholders must quickly work together to resolve," Mr Mallya said.
He pointed out that TPA which controls huge space for break bulk cargo should stop giving priority to container and navy ships and instead allow non-containerised cargo to offload.
Last week, TASAA Chairman, Peter Kirigini advised container vessels owners to use Tanzania International Container Terminal Services (TICTS) terminal to offload their cargo instead of TPA terminal which is congested.