Speaking at the official launch of the dry port, the minister directed the Tanzania Port Authority (TPA) to immediately start using the facility as soon as possible.
Developed by TPA, Kitopeni dry port has the capacity to store a total of 1,000 vehicles at once, the situation that will provide a relief to the Dar es Salaam port.
According to Kamwelwe, the Dar es Salaam port is overwhelmed with cargo and other 13 dry ports are congested by 85 per cent.
“I want this dry port to start operating when the responsible authorities are working on documentation procedures, so as to make ships continues unloading cargo at the port,” he said.
TPA Director General, Eng Deusdedit Kakoko said the development of the dry port is part of the authority’s efforts to increase efficiency of the port in handling cargoes.
He assured the minister that his authority in collaboration with the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) will work on documentation procedures to make the newly launched facility start operating.
He said that completion of berth 1 has increased cargo consignment and cargo ships have also increased at the port making the facility overwhelmed.
“So, this dry port is one of the solutions,” said Kakoko.
Dar es Salaam port Director, Freddy Liundi said the dry port has been developed to meet the current port demand.The port is the principal port serving Tanzania and is also the access route to six landlocked countries including Malawi, Zambia, Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda, as well as Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The port is one of three ocean ports in the country and handles over 90percent of the country's cargo traffic. According to the International Association of Ports and Harbours, it is the fourth largest port on the African continent's Indian Ocean coastline after Durban, Mombasa and Maputo.
The port acts as a gateway for commerce and trade for Tanzania and numerous bordering landlocked states.
For years the inefficiencies at the port has cost the regional economy millions of dollars; in 2012 the total global welfare loss caused by the inefficiencies of the port stood at US$1.8 billion for the Tanzanian economy and 830 million US dollars for the neighbouring countries.