Shipping agents will start charging Vessel Delay Surcharge of 150 US dollars (approx. 270,000/-) per imported container to recover costs of cargo ships offloading delays at Dar es Salaam port with immediate effect.
Tanzania Shipping Agents Association (TASAA) Honorary Secretary, Peter Kirigini told the ‘Daily News’ yesterday that a notice to that effect has already been served to Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority and all stakeholders.
“Our members will start charging vessel delay surcharge with immediate effect after expiry of a period of three months given to TICTS to improve performance at the port,” Mr Kirigini said. He said a detailed report showing performance of Tanzania International Container Terminal Services (TICTS) since last February when SUMATRA gave the company a three months grace period to improve performance has also been served to stakeholders.
In the report, TASAA shows that average vessel berthing delay last February was 12.29 days while average vessel productivity was 16.33 per vessel per hour. But after three months, the situation has not improved much as expected with average vessel berthing delays at 11.24 days, while average vessel productivity is 16.36 per vessel per hour.
“From the above figures, we can recognize that the situation at TICTS is almost the same and no any kind of improvements have been done,” Kirigini said in the notice served to all port stakeholders last week.
TASAA also proposes two options to rescue the situation which include TICTS stevedoring tariff be reduced at an agreed rate, to cover shipping lines losses as the company is the main cause of the inefficiency problem, “or that shipping lines invoice charges directly to importers before cargo release.”
Asked about the continued allegations of inefficiency at the country’s prime port and failure to improve the situation in the past three months, TICTS Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, Neville Bisset said he is currently travelling abroad. “I am currently travelling. Please contact TICTS office for assistance,” Mr Bisset wrote in a text message.
Last February, SUMATRA gave stakeholders including TICTS and clearing and forwarding agents three months to improve efficiency or else shipping liners will be allowed to charge VDS.
In a letter to all stakeholders including Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association (TAFFA), TASAA, SUMATRA and Tanzania Revenue Authority, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport, Omari Chambo who is also Dar es Salaam port efficiency committee Chairman, warned some stakeholders like TICTS to bear the VDS on their own.
Aged equipment and construction work going on at Berth 8 are blamed for causing inefficiency by the country’s main container operator. But TICTS has in the past blamed arrival of vessels in fleets which suffocates their capacity to attend to the ships.
By FINNIGAN WA SIMBEYE, Tanzania Daily News