The Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) has launched its country office in Lilongwe, bolstering hopes for smooth cargo handling and reduced trade costs between the two countries.
The office will play a crucial role in marketing Tanzanian ports by providing reliable information on the facilities and services offered at ports in Dar es Salaam, Kyela and Mbamba Bay.
During the launch event in Lilongwe, Malawi, yesterday, Transport Minister Prof Makame Mbarawa said the launch of the office in Malawi symbolises the strong mutual relationship between the two countries and dual role of facilitating trade flow between the countries.
Prof Mbarawa said that one of the most remarkable features of the port industry in Tanzania is that it is the major source of government revenues, whereby taxes on imports and exports handled through the major ports.
The Minister noted that development of port sector in Tanzania has influenced the existence, access and quality of other modes of transportation, notably roads and railways, adding that modes of transport are the prerequisite links between transportation corridors and ports or gateways of maritime transportation.
“The government of Tanzania believes that port infrastructure, productivity and efficiencies are key pillars of ensuring businesses within and between our countries and the real meaning of trade facilitation which is translated into greater growth synergies that transform peoples’ lives,” Prof Mbarawa said.
Mr Plasduce Mbossa, the Director General of TPA, stated that the office will also recommend credible clearing and forwarding agents.
He added that the office will serve as a link to other port stakeholders, ensuring seamless cargo flow to Malawi customers.
Mr Mbossa explained that the office will provide essential information regarding cargo imported to Malawi through Dar es Salaam, Mbamba Bay, and Kyela ports, including vessel arrival dates.
Furthermore, the office will offer real-time solutions to any challenges that may arise during the cargo clearance process, eliminating the need for customers to physically travel to Dar es Salaam or any of the mentioned ports and minimising overall trade costs.
“The office will also assist in verifying port charges before finalising payment, provide step-by-step import and export processes for logistical arrangements and planning, follow up on customer claims for damages and ensure prompt compensation,” he said.
Similarly, the TPA Director General stated that the office will assist clients with follow-ups on requests and provide timely feedback. It will also provide adequate information on vehicles that are due to be auctioned for overstaying, reminding customers to fast-track payment of port charges to prevent auctioning.
In 2022, over 44,200 vehicles destined for Malawi passed through the Dar es Salaam Port, facilitated by the dedicated RoRo Terminal.
The terminal covers an area of 73,000 square meters and can accommodate at least 6,000 vehicles at any given time, totaling 200,000 units per annum. The terminal operates at a high level of efficiency, offloading 100 vehicles per hour.
Regarding fuel imports, Mr Mbossa noted that the Port of Dar es Salaam accounted for 68 per cent of all fuel imports to Malawi last year. In terms of containerised cargo, a total of 9,272 TEUs passed through the port.
“Overall, TPA holds a market share of 15 per cent for general cargo, 68 per cent for liquid cargo, and 79 per cent for wheeled cargo,” he added.
The Malawian Minister for Transport and Public Works, Mr Jacob Hara, emphasised the importance of the Port of Dar es Salaam for facilitating the movement of both wet and dry cargo in Malawi.
He stated that the new office will reduce delays experienced by users of the Dar es Salaam Corridor and urged the private sector to take full advantage of the office to increase the use of the port.
Minister Hara also expressed his approval of the TPA Malawi Country Office, stating that it will make the Port of Dar es Salaam the gateway for Malawi’s exports and imports. He encouraged Malawians to transact with the port without the need to travel.
“The recent events affecting the global economy have highlighted the importance of regional integration efforts and trade facilitation. We need to strengthen regional trade while also reducing the cost of doing business with those outside the region,” the Malawian Minister concluded.