THE Dar es Salaam Port targets attracting all ships carrying vehicles destined for neighbouring countries, as its ongoing expansion will enable it to handle up to 600,000 vehicles annually.
The revelations came out yesterday after Works, Transport and Communication Minister Isack Kamwelwe went to the port to inspect progress of the expansion works under the Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Program (DMGP) worth 339bn/-.
Eng Kamwelwe was satisfied with the completed construction of the vehicles yard for the newly built Ro-Ro berth.
The new yard has capacity of accommodating 3000 vehicles at a time, thus it can handle 200,000 of them in a year.
Eng Kamwelwe said this would boost the current handling capacity of 170,000 cars annually. He further noted that there was another area allocated for the construction of another yard to have a handling capacity for 150,000 vehicles.
"All these expansions are meant to make the Dar es Salaam Port competitive by allowing big ships to dock instead of doing transshipment at the Mombasa Port, something which leads to double handling and more costs. Now all ships come directly to our port," the minister stated.
In line with this, the TPA has entered into an agreement with the Dangote Cement Company based in Mtwara, for shipment of cargo cement from the industry to Dar es Salaam Port, instead of using heavy trucks to transport the cargo, which in the process contributes towards damaging roads.
Eng Kamwelwe said under the agreement, Dangote Cement will be ferrying two million metric tonnes of cement annually from Mtwara to Dar es Salaam, and thereafter, the consignment can proceed to the market in the upcountry regions and neighbouring countries through the railway.
On his part, Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) Director General Eng Deusdedit Kakoko said the new vehicles yard has a size of 7.5 hectares.
He said all construction works under the DMGP, which started in June 2017, would be completed in January next year. Meanwhile, the minister inspected the installation works of 19 flow meters at the port.
This is partly through the 47bn/- allocated for installation of flow meters at the three major ports of Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Mtwara.
According to Eng Kakoko, the installation works at the Dar es Salaam Port will be completed next September or October.
"Once these meters become operational, we will be having accurate measurements and address the issue of cheating, thus enabling the government to earn more revenues," he said.
On the same day, the minister launched Information and Communications Technology (ICT) systems for the TPA operations, a move which is expected to improve efficiency in serving customers.
Eng Kamwelwe launched the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and e-Office systems for the authority. The ERP integrates into a single system the issues of accounting, logistics or distribution.
The system is able to control other activities, including sales, payments, production, stock control and HR administration.