DAR ES SALAAM Port has yet again hosted a large vessel, Aquamarine ACE, carrying 3492 vehicles, signaling a continued trust in importers on the port after major expansion and improved services.
This is second ship of that capacity after the port received another vessel of almost such size, the Tranquil ACE Panama, in last August.
The Port Director, Elihuruma Lema, who spoke on behalf of the Director General of the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), Eric Hamissi, said the continued arrival of big ships resulted from improved efficiency, port expansion and marketing.
"As we are today celebrating Nyerere Day, we are also celebrating victory of receiving another big ship which means a lot to port's improved efficiency and expansion," Mr Lema stated.
He said a good number of importers; mainly from neighbouring land-linked countries (Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi and DR Congo) have now increasingly started using the port.
"The recent visit of President Samia Suluhu Hassan to neighbouring Rwanda and Burundi has hugely contributed to bring importers from those countries," he said, noting that 71 per cent of the 3492 vehicles in Aquamarine ACE were for transit destined for those countries.
He said the port's record of cargo handling was impressing for the past six months.
He said the number of RoRo vessels has increased during the past six months whereby the port handled 85 vessels between April and last September compared to 70 vessels during the corresponding period last year.
The Port was more optimistic that the future is bright, with the ongoing works of deepening the entry channel to allow ships with more sizes to dock at the port.
The ongoing dredging of the entry channel will make it have 15.5-metre depth up from current 11.5-metre depth.
"We are now increasing the depth of the entry channel, so we are expecting to receive more large vessels in the future," he said.
Giving technical side of the story, TPA's Motor Vehicle Roro Manager Mathew Anthony, said since the RoRo berth started operations last year the port has been receiving 8 RoRo vessels per month.
With the improved efficiency in offloading the RoRo vessels, he said they have been offloading between 100 and 120 cars per hour from the RoRo ship.
"Therefore, we expect to offload the Aquamarine ACE in only three shifts, that means we will finish tomorrow morning (today)," he explained.