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PORT OF DAR-ES-SALAAM: Zambia’s principal gateway to the world

Filed under: Business,Latest News,Tourism |
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Zambia could be a land-locked country, however, the nation has to a greater extent benefited from the Port of Dar-es-Salaam directly or indirectly, reports the Economic Advisor.

Ranked 4th largest in Africa, the Port of Dar-es-Salaam is one of the main gateways to the rest of the world for Zambia.

In recent years, the Port of Dar-es-Salam, managed by the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) has undergone massive expansion through investments in size, speed and technology.

The port’s berths have been strengthened and deepened to handle bigger vessels of up to 6000-8000 from 2000 Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) containers. In addition, the Port has a 9-hector yard to store up to 6000 cars.

Cargo handling and processing has been modernized leading to improved speed which has reduced costs of delay estimated at US$200-US$400 for each additional day of delay per single consignment. TPA has also invested in modern technology to protect cargo from thefts, tampering and terrorism.

The Port of Dar-es-Salaam is poised to increase its cargo handling from 13 million tons to 30 million tons per year by 2030.

With Zambian cargo handled by the Port already doubling from 1.1 million tons in 2020-2021 to 2 million tons in 2022, the Port of Dar-es-Salaam is ready to support Zambia’s economic agenda.

Undoubtedly, seaports play a vital role in any import-based economy, especially in developing countries where maritime transport is the primary form of access to the international market.

Trade experts believe that robust modernisation of seaports in East Africa is vital to the development of maritime infrastructure and its interaction with inland transport systems on the continent.

According to a recent World Bank report, inefficiencies in Dar es Salaam costs Tanzania and neighboring countries up to US$2.8 billion in lost revenue annually. This has a negative effect on regional trade, especially among landlocked (or ‘land-linked’) countries such as Zambia that depends on the Dar es Salaam port as a gateway for international trade.

Apparently, for this reason, the Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project (DSMGP) worth US$421 million was established in a bid to overhaul the port of Dar es Salaam’s infrastructure by 2023.

“This project will have both direct and indirect effects on the regional economy, as it will generate new jobs and value, which will help to boost GDP.

“Maritime freight transit will reduce transportation costs, increase area employment and support local and port-related industries,” Lusaka based economist Boyd Muleya told Nkwazi at one point.

“The project will further promote an efficient channel through which Tanzania and Zambia can earn much-needed foreign exchange and tax revenues from their exports to the rest of the world, which have largely been lost due to inefficiencies and a lack of capacity to deal with rising export and import volumes,” he stressed.

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