The increased use of the Dar es Salaam Port for the importation and exportation of goods from Zimbabwe and other countries is pushing up the volume of business in Tanzanian ports.
According to an economic review for the month of March by Bank of Tanzania, more African countries were beginning to make use of the port.
Zimbabwe has, in previous years, relied on the port of Durban in South Africa and Beira in Mozambique to move cargo.
Other countries making use of the port include Zambia, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
“Meanwhile, the good performance in transportation receipts was mainly on account of the increase in volume of transit goods due to improved Dar es Salaam port efficiency and road infrastructure to the neighbouring countries,” Bank of Tanzania said in its report.
“Following the improved port efficiency and security, among others, the Zimbabwe government has also started using Dar port to import and export its goods.”
Apart from generating revenue brought about by handling fees at the port, other sectors, especially the hospitality industry, could be raking in additional revenues through the provision of accommodation and food.
More Zimbabwean companies, as well as individuals, have turned to the Tanzanian port as they seek cheaper ways to connect with the outside world.
In March, Dar es Salaam port manager Cassian Ng’amilo told Tanzania’s Daily News that Zimbabweans were now using the port regularly.
“The port now has low handling tariffs and safety for cargo has improved,” Ng’amilo said.
He said Zimbabweans initially used the port to clear vehicles only, but were now beginning to import other commodities too.
“Zimbabweans were not serious customers, but their presence is now being felt,” he said.
“The number of vehicles the port has received has more than doubled from 32 862 in 2005 to 84 347 last year.”