In a move designed to reduce container congestion at the port of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete has given orders that all containers not collected at the Dar es Salaam container terminal within 21 days must be sold.
The get tough policy follows similar moves in neighbouring Mombasa which is also burdened with thousands of uncleared containers clogging the port terminal.
In a related move, the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) has been instructed to extend the round-the-clock working rule across all port related operations.
This follows a meeting between TRA, the Tanzania Ports Authority and the country’s president to address the problem of ongoing delays at Tanzania’s main port. Reports in the Dar es Salaam Citizen said the president told the TPA and TRA that in “Durban port it takes less than three days to clear goods, but here in Dar it can take up to 12.”
The meeting was followed with a communiqué from State Houses saying that the “TPA and TRA have been directed to auction 30 per cent of containers which have spent more than 21 days at the port as a fast way of reducing congestion.”
Kikwete also looked at the matter of motor vehicles that take up much needed space at the port and asked that these also be cleared to create more space for other cargo. TICTS (Tanzania International Container Terminal Services), which is part of the Hutchison Port Holdings Group and holds the concession to operate the container terminal, has been advised to obtain more equipment and to also make use of TPA equipment where possible to accelerate the movement of cargo through the port of Dar es Salaam.
The meeting with the president also acknowledged the need for the central railway to be upgraded and improved as a means of assisting the port in competing with other ports in eastern and southern Africa.