A national platform that brings together policy makers and stakeholders to tackle the challenges in the freight and logistics industry has been launched in Tanzania.
It is intended to foster best practices that will allow players to innovate, add value and strategize to make the industry more efficient and sustainable ultimately increasing the country’s competitiveness in the global arena to promote economic growth and alleviate poverty.
As Tanzania aims to maintain and strengthen its position as the choice transit route for landlocked countries, it will require to have the right policy framework as security and costs improve on alternative routes.
Its Dar es Salaam port is an important transit point for many African nations granting access to maritime travel and trade through the Indian Ocean.
In 2012, 14 per cent of the imports and exports of Tanzania’s landlocked neighbouring countries, experiencing a GDP growth averaging 7 per cent, passed through the Dar Port. This is expected to grow further as the region undergoes economic expansion.
Locally, Tanzania’s demand for domestic transport is expected to increase by 16 per cent in 2020.
Dar es Salaam port throughput increased from 7.4 million tons in 2007 to 14.26 million tons in 2014. The target for 2015/16 has been set at 18 million tons.
“The government will offer its full support to the platform to ensure the efficiency of freight and logistics services in Tanzania is achieved,” Professor Faustino Kamuzora, Permanent Secretary in Tanzania’s Ministry of Transport, Works, Communication and Technology assured.
The platform will deal with logistics inefficiencies, implementation of national and regional logistics policies and harmonization of document requirements by customs.
It is also expected to address challenges relating to effective advocacy on security, corruption and extortion; simplify customs procedures; as well as avoid delays.
Some of the organizations subscribing to the platform include the Associations of Truck Owners; Shipping Agents; and Petrol Station Owners.
The national platform will be hosted by the Tanzania Private Sector Federation (TPSF) which will organize other industry players to influence operational reforms in Tanzania.
Its operations will be supported through a $400, 000 grant from TradeMark East Africa, an organization which seeks to grow prosperity in the East African region through trade.
“Currently East Africa’s trade corridors are characterised by long transit times and high costs. Freight costs per kilometre are more than 50 per cent higher than costs in the United States and Europe, and for the landlocked countries, transport costs can be as high as 45 per cent of the value of exports. This platform is aimed at addressing these challenges and improving the region’s competitiveness,” John Ulanga, Country Director, TradeMark East Africa, Tanzania added.