Tazara clinches haulage deal with DSM Corridor Group

A major cargo transportation deal between Tanzania Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA) and DSM Corridor Group Limited will soon be sealed, breathing some life into the struggling rail company.

DSM Corridor Group Chief Executive Officer, Erik Kok said the two sides are ironing out details of the deal, which will come into effect immediately.

“We have come to agreement with Tazara on a rail access rate last Thursday so Tazara is sorted and we are now doing a feasibility and will make a full proposal to Tazara,” Mr Kok said in an emailed message.

Kok said details of the concession will be known within two weeks when the two sides sign memorandum of understanding.

The deal will allow Tazara to ship over 1.6 million tons of cargo between Dar es Salaam and New Kapiri Mposhi from DSM Corridor Group’s clients. DSM Corridor Group is constructing a dry port at Kisarawe to escape from the traffic congestion at Dar es Salaam port and will use Tazara wagons to ship the cargo.

“By taking cargo to Kisarawe dry port and then through Kibaha by trucks will reduce time and costs compared to the current route,” said Mr Kok.

The cargo will enable cargo from Kisarawe to be shipped to DR Congo, Malawi and Zambia to reduce freight charges. Tazara which has capacity of transporting some five million metric tons of cargo per annum but currently only handles less than 400,000MT due to poor infrastructure and competition from trucks.

The DSM Corridor deal will enable the cash strapped international railway company improve its books of accounts. The DSM Corridor Group CEO said last year, they used Tazara to ship copper from Zambia to Dar es Salaam port which went smoothly.

Kok commended the government and development partners for launching the 593 million US dollars over 1.1bn/- Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Modernization (DMGM) project.

“We hope that the project will address the issue of infrastructure improvement especially roads from the port, such as that of Gate 3 and also those going to ICDs (Inland Container Depots),” he noted while stressing that expansion and modernisation of the country’s prime port should be given priority.
Source: Daily News, reported by Finnigan Wa Simbeye, from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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