In the last one year Tanzania through its program “Big Result Now” (BRN) has recorded an impressive performance of the minimum average of five days in the clearing of containers at the Dar es Salaam Port as Central Corridor Transport Observatory (CCTTFA) Annual Report latest report shows.
Its annual report reveals that the indicators of effectiveness and productivity are generated to determine how productive the port can be; for instance how does the container stay at the port (dwell time), not only that but also that the indicator category helps to measure the efficiency of the port as well.
According to the report, the average release time from Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) calculated from a time difference, from when a declaration custom agent to when a release order is issued by customs, keeps decreasing for the year 2015 from 51.6 average hours in May to 49.6 hours to December which is an improvement of the customs processing unit.
On the ship turnaround time it refers to the total time spent by a ship in the port and it is measured by the average of the time in days per ship from time a ship enters the port area to the time it exits the port area.
The report further explained that normally, it comprises the ship waiting time (time when the vessel is being offloaded or loaded with cargo), however, the ship waiting time is normally a small proportion of the turnaround time.
Therefore to reduce the ship turnaround time, they need to reduce the ship working time and the working time depends on the quantity of cargo a vessel has to load or discharge, the type and characteristics of a vessel, the type of equipment and other resources used at berth.
It is indicated in the report that the average of 2.25 days per ship has been recorded as the ship turnaround time at Dar port in containerized terminal unit and a decrease was recorded from September to December 2.31 days due to port efficiency and productivity.
The report added that internationally, lower port dwell time has become a major commercial indicator in attracting more cargo to the ports.
Dar es Salaam port has been major hub for the transportation of good and containers for the neighboring countries such as DRC Congo, Zambia, Malawi, Burundi and Rwanda and the port has also been significantly with Tanzania sources of revenues.
The Port of Dar es Salaam is the principal port serving Tanzania; the port is one of three ocean ports in the country and handles over 90% of the country’s cargo traffic.
According to the International Association of Ports and Harbors, it is the fourth largest port on the African continent’s Indian Ocean coastline after Durban, Mombasa and Maputo.
The port acts as a gateway for commerce and trade for Tanzania and numerous bordering landlocked states. For years the inefficiencies at the port has cost the regional economy millions of dollars; in 2012 the total global welfare loss caused by the inefficiencies of the port stood at $1.8 billion for the Tanzanian economy and $830 million for the neighboring countries.
With the continually growing economies in the region the reliance of Dar port increased drastically; the port saw an average of 10% annual growth of cargo traffic from 2003 onwards which complemented the rapid growth of the city of Dar es Salaam.
The port has faced increased criticism of inefficiencies and corruption and has seen increased international pressure.
The port provides an economic backbone for 4 of the 5 locked countries that border Tanzania and the inefficiencies has increased the cost of business in the region and has forced the government to implement various expansions and outsourcing projects.