Kampala — The Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) has said the revival of the central corridor could leverage on efficiency and cost for transporting cargo from Dar es Salaam port to Kampala to four days, thereby reducing the prices at which goods are sold to the final consumers.
"The revival of the Central corridor is purposed to provide the business people in Uganda and within the region with two competitive routes as way to lower the cost not just for the business people but also for the consumers by improving on efficiency and costs," said Deusdedit Kakoko, Director General, Tanzania Ports Authority.
Kakoko said apart from the transportation system, business on Dar es Salaam port has been evolving with a number of shipping and clearing agents now in place. "We have an overall total competitive route cost and we want to make it more efficient in terms of cost and time," Kakoko said.
He said a lot of progress has been made to revive the central corridor both by the Ugandan and the Tanzanian authorities. "We are focusing on developing a multi model approach in which cargo is transported using rail, water and road. Using the multi model approach, cargo destined to Uganda will be transported through rail or road up to Mwanza and from Mwanza, it will be shipped to Kampala via water to port bell or by road," said Kakoko.
He said on the Tanzanian side, construction of the Standard Gauge Railway has started from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma but their plan is to extend it to Mwanza in addition to construction of other infrastructure like roads. He said: "We are happy with the progress that Uganda is making on their side and we believe, when they finish, this will address the transportation gap that has been missing," Kakoko said.
He said the efforts to revive the central corridor has since business for the route grow from 1% to 3%.
Charles A Kateeba, Managing Director, Uganda Railways Corporation said as part of Uganda's effort to revive the central corridor, Uganda has award a contractor to rehabilitate nine kilometers of rail from Port Bell to the central business district of Kampala and that the rehabilitation is expected to last one month.
"The line between Port Bell and Kampala had been in disuse, but now, rehabilitation will start soon and this is because, we want traders to be able to ship their goods from Mwanza to Port Bell and from Port Bell to Kampala using the railway. We have containers for Cargo and we hope to acquire more," Kateeba, said.
He said they also plan to deepen the port at Port Bell to allow ships to deep more and that, they plan to construct a completely new port at Bukasa.
"We already have two ships delivering cargo from Mwanza to Port Bell, each with a capacity to carry 200 to 202 containers. That is: MV Kawa and MV Umoja. We plan to build a completely new ship; MV Kwamba with a capacity to carry more containers and general good use cargo," said Kateeba.
He said, in general, they plan on having five to six ships Deeping in Port Bell, adding that they also plan on constructing the Jinja Port to have good destined to Eastern Uganda offloaded or loaded from the Jinja port.
Currently, it is reported that transporting Cargo via the northern corridor, that is, from the port of Mombasa to Kampala takes a maximum of six to nine days which the central corridor intends to reduce to four or five days.