Tanzania Port stakeholders urge banks to operate 24/7

Banks providing services to customers using the Dar es Salaam port has been urged to consider operating 24 hours a day and seven days a week to increase efficiency.

Port stakeholders who met in Dar es Salaam recently said extension of working hours and days by the banks would help to clear backlog of customers using the port and improve its competitiveness.

They said since the port of Dar es Salaam was now operating 24 hours a day, it was now proper for the banks to follow suit so as to ease cargo clearance since a number of payments are made through the banking system.

“Matching the port’s speed is all what stakeholders request banks to do,” the Acting Director General, Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), Mr Awadh Massawe said when reading the meeting’s resolutions.

Mr Massawe who is also the chairperson of the stakeholders meetings, said when the banks would extend their working hours and days, cargo clearance would take less time which will significantly improve the competitiveness of the port.

Payments for both domestic and transit cargo are done through banks. However, almost all the banks operate up to 4:00pm or 6:00pm and are closed during weekends and public holidays.

The meeting also elected the President of Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association (TAFFA), Mr. Stephene Ngatunga to be the Vice Chairperson of the port’s stakeholders meetings.

There is a secretariat which will make follow ups of agreed matters and make sure that they are implemented on time. The secretariat is made up of members from TPA and port’s stakeholders.

The Vice Chairperson of Tanzania Truck Owners Association (TATOA), Mr. Elias Lukumay stressed on the need to put into actions all agreed things at the meetings for the interest of clients and nation at large.

“It is when our port will be competitive that will attract more clients from neighbouring countries,” he noted. He cautioned that Tanzania is in competition with several countries with ports and that users will always follow best services.

Dar port also serves seven landlocked countries including Zambia, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi and Zimbabwe. It also serves the eastern part of the DR Congo.

Some of stakeholders at the meeting were representatives from Tanzania Shipping Agency Association, Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association (TAFFA), Container Inland Deport Association of Tanzania, shipping lines, Car freight owners, and Terminal operators. Others were government departments and institutions including TRA and police force.
Source: Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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