By Taonga Sabola:
Tanzanian Port Authorities have asked local businesses to use the Dar es Salam Port when importing and exporting merchandise.
Tanzanian Port Authority Director of Marketing, Francisca Muindi, was speaking in Lilongwe with local business captains.
The interface follows a visit by Tanzanian President, John Magufuli, in April which revealed that there was underutilisation of the Dar es Salaam Port by landlocked Malawi.
Muindi said the Northern Corridor, also known as Tazara Corridor, provided an efficient and cost-effective route for Malawi.
Malawi imports and exports between 1.5 million to 2 million tonnes of merchandise per annum of which about 400,000 tonnes passes through Dar Es Salaam.
Muindi said Tanzania would like to grow the traffic passing through Dar es Salaam to around 1 million tonnes per annum. She said the Tanzanian Port Authority has appointed Malawi Cargo Centre Limited (MCCL) as its agent in Malawi.
MCCL Logistics Manager, Gerald Ndowera, said businesses hauling cargo via the Northern Corridor stood to benefit from reduced charges of up to 25 percent.
“What used to happen was that the flow of traffic was one way from Dar es Salaam to Mbeya and Karonga. This meant that the cost of freight was high as the transporters were not carrying anything on the way back.
“But now we have identified some goods which would be transported to Dar es Salaam which would help lower the costs,” Ndowera said.
Alliance One Shipping Manager, Frank Chinkhandwe, said there were a number of factors that businesses look for when choosing a route to import or export cargo.
Among other things, Chinkhandwe said businesses look for security, time taken, costs and how the cargo is handled.