Cargo figures in the Dar es Salaam port to most of its hinterland markets has grown in recent years, but Tanzanian ports chiefs are uneasy about the share of transit traffic destined to Uganda, which has stagnated at two percent, despite the port’s multimillion-dollar investment to compete with Kenya’s Mombasa.
According to the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), Mombasa still accounts for 80 percent of Uganda’s cargo, as the Central Corridor continues to grapple with infrastructure challenges, high transport costs and slower clearance at the port.
Under the $421 million Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project (DMGP) – implemented since 2017 – Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) invested to upgrade the facility, to widen and deepen the port’s berths and entrance channels to enable post-panamax size vessels to call at the port.
The authority also invested in a new roll-on, roll-off vessel terminal, among many other service facilities all meant to enhance the port’s overall performance, leading to container traffic to grow at an average rate of 12 percent per annum, and transit traffic at an average rate of 23.5 percent per annum since 2020.
These growth numbers saw the World Bank last year rank the Dar port above its main regional competitor, Mombasa, in port efficiency ranking. By JULIUS BARIGABA, The East African