DAR ES SALAAM Port now can load or offload over 600 containers from a vessel within 24 hours, surpassing the 330 container target.
The containers terminal department had set the 330 container target, within three shifts but now can handle over 600 containers, reducing the time of vessels to stay at the port.
The performance has ultimately reduced costs of cargo vessels docking at the port, thanks to purchase of sophisticated machineries. Principal Operations Officer for the Container Terminal at the port John Maghibo said in an interview yesterday that the enhanced performance has helped to attract ships that carry many containers.
In the past, the ships were avoiding the port over fears of incurring more costs due to overstaying.
"We used to receive vessels carrying 200 or 300 contain- ers only, but now we receive ships with capacity of carrying between 800 and 1,000 containers," Mr Maghibo stated, noting that in the past the department could hardly load or offload 200 containers.
He attributed the achievement to procurement of new machineries, naming gottwards, reach stackers and empty handlers as some of them.
"For the vessel carrying, for instance between 800 and 1000 containers, we can offload or load it in just two days," he said, elaborating that within 24 hours the department can handle 600 containers-200 containers in each of the three shifts. He further said the 24-hour working system at the port has as well helped to improve performance.
Working round-the-clock was among the areas which were improved by the port and its stakeholders through implementation of President John Magufuli's directive.
Dr Magufuli had ordered all port stakeholders to operate 24 hours in seven days a week to fasten cargo clearance. The directive was given to boost efficiency of the port, which has great potentials of facilitating economic growth of Tanzania and all countries that use the Dar es Salaam port.
The 24/7 working system also aimed at solving challenges, which customers were facing in importing or exporting their goods.
Mr Maghibo urged importers and exporters to ensure that they timely make documentation and submit the required documents to the department for speedy uploading or offloading.
"Delays in documentation results in delays in loading or offloading of cargo... we have to receive the documents before the vessel docking," he said.