Shipping agencies’ body tout port efficiency

Construction of berths 13 and 14 at Dar es Salaam Port should be speeded up to allow efficient clearance of cargo and accommodation of larger third generation ships.

New Tanzania Shipping Agents Association (TASAA) Chairman Peter Kirigini has said in Dar es Salaam that it has taken way too long period to construct the two important berths which will increase space at the country’s prime port.

“Were it three years ago, I would have said it is time to push for berth 13 and 14 but now I say it is time to push for a new bigger, more modern, more efficient port,” Mr Kirigini said in his first address of TASAA members since his election last week.

He said for the port to improve its efficiency, there is also need to address supporting infrastructure constraints such as improving the railways, implementation of an electronic single window system and more importantly professionalism.

Mr Kirigini, who is also a senior manager at CMA CGM Tanzania Limited, further noted that friendly regulations and political understanding of the shipping industry are also important in improving performance of the country’s main port which serves six landlocked countries.

“Today, we still face similar issues we used to encounter before, lack of adequate infrastructure and investments in our ports, poor railways, lack of reliable automated systems, poor roads which all need urgent attention,” he pointed out.

Former chairman Emmanuel Mallya paid tribute to TASAA members for ensuring that efficiency at the port, which had severely reached the lowest level in 2008/9 has since improved despite being a myriad of challenges.

“TASAA witnessed the biggest and most costly port congestion in the eastern Africa seaboard five years ago. We successfully navigated through it and from it was born a port decongestion committee succeeded by Port Improvement Committee (PIC),” Mr Mallya pointed out.

He further noted that despite improved efficiency at the port, there is still an element of hiked shipping costs caused by inefficiencies by some stakeholders in the shipping industry.

“Among the challenges faced more vividly and threatening profitability of the shipping business is the dampened ocean rates and the transfer of inefficiencies which results in losses to stakeholders in the industry,” Mr Mallya, who owns EB Maritime Limited and has since turned into a TASAA trustee, noted.

The new leadership includes Mr Anver Rajpar as vice-chairman, Mr Ayoub Mwabondo as honourary secretary, Mr Fernando Ponti as honorary treasurer while Mr Anil Patel and Anthony Makani are council members. Veteran shipper Jackson Kaale joins Mr Mallya as trustees.
Source: Daily News, reported by Finnigan wa Simbeya from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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