The $357 million Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project (DMGP) upgrade seems to be bearing fruit. The World Bank has put Dar above its main regional competitor, Mombasa, in a new port efficiency standing.
The Port of Dar es Salaam rose to position 312 in the 2022 Container Port Performance Index (CPPI). Mombasa’s position is 326 in the survey of 348 ports globally making it the preferred facility by East African shippers. Djibouti ranked at 26 and the port of Berbera (Somalia) at 144.
Efficient operation of the Dar port is therefore key to the development of trade in the region. There has been a noteworthy improvement in business since 2020 when the marine industry recorded reduced activity during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Operations streamlining following the Dar es Salaam port upgrade
Containerization has conveyed substantial changes in shipping, a trend that is likely to continue with digitalization. The World Bank says that container ports are dire nodes in global supply chains and essential to growth strategies. Additionally, the development of high-quality container port infrastructure has been a prerequisite for export-led growth.
Countries that follow such a strategy will have higher levels of economic growth efficiency and high-quality port infrastructure. Therefore, this can expedite investment in production and distribution systems and engender expansion of manufacturing and logistics. Additionally, this creates employment opportunities and raises income levels.
However, ports and terminals, especially container terminals, can cause shipment delays, disruptions in the supply chain, additional expenses, and reduced competitiveness. The negative effect of poor performance in a port can extend beyond that port’s hinterland.
Additionally, container shipping services follow a static schedule with specific berth windows at each port of call on the route. Therefore, poor performance at one port could disrupt the entire schedule.