Dar es Salaam. Tanzanian freight forwarders are now readying to explore opportunities emerging from the Tanzania-Uganda oil pipeline after the private operators passed through challenging regulatory environment.
Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association (Taffa) president Edward Urio said the pipeline whose construction is expected to start soon, will have at least 3.5 million tonnes of goods passing through Tanzania ports and that is expected to benefit clearing agents in the country.
Mr Urio said this on the sidelines of a meeting that aimed at briefing the association members on what has been happening and future expectations as well as challenges that lie ahead.
The meeting also discussed the Tanzania Shipping Agencies Act of 2017, which regulates the industry on how its implementation has so far affected the business.
The law gave the state-run agency exclusive mandate on most businesses, leaving the private companies struggling.
“We passed through tough times during the peak of Covid-19 but now there are numerous opportunities coming that we aim to grab,” he said.
He said they discussed the issue of acquiring business licence after every year, the term he said does not give clearing agents room to grow because it has always proven difficult to access loans from financial institutions.
“We want the authorities to look at the possibility of issuing a three year licence that will be more productive and allow companies grow through and be able to access loans,” he said.
In another development, he said they are in dialogue with the government to find a solution for the regulator Tanzania Shipping Agencies corporation (Tasac) operating two umbrellas - regulating the clearing industry and doing the business of clearing at the same time.
According to him, Tasac has taken over 45 percent of all clearing works that was initially done by the private companies, leaving a majority of businesses struggling to remain afloat. He said they are in dialogue with the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Transports to see how to improve the law so that the agency remains a regulator alone, instead of being part of the business.