The Tanzania Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA) has transported more than 15,700 metric tonnes of Copper to the port of Dar-es-salaam in Tanzania on behalf of Konkola Copper Mines and Impala Warehousing and Logistics (Impala) since the beginning of April 2013.
This is from what is known as seamless operations between Zambia Railways Limited and TAZARA resumed.
According to a press statement released to the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) in Chinsali today, signed by Conrad Simuchile, Head Public Relations based in Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania, Mr Simuchile said between April and May this year, Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) picked seven trains loaded with cumulative total of 7,440 Metric Tonnes of Copper from Impala’s warehouse in Ndola.
He also said eight other trains loaded with a cumulative total of 8, 293 metric tonnes from Kitwe and Chingola plants of KCM handed over the freight to TAZARA at Chozi for onward conveyance to the port of Dar-es-salaam.
He said that TAZARA Acting Managing Director Ronald Phiri has commended the synergy in the operations of the two railway companies.
The TAZARA Managing Director said the collaboration between his company and ZRL is working very well and boosting the operations of TAZARA which he said has limited as a consequence of having inadequate locomotives and wagons.
Mr Phiri said during the last two months, freight volumes have gone up due to the effect of the business agreement with ZRL.
Mr Phiri added that the inter-mine operation where ZRL picks Copper directly from the mines and hands it over to TAZARA at Chozi implies that his company is now moving more Copper freight and this is impacting positively on the over performance of TAZARA.
He said the performance of TAZARA in the last two months has been positively progressive despite a disruption of operations for at least 13 days due to an accident during the month of April 2013.
Records indicate that TAZARA has moved a total of 39,068 metric tonnes of freight between April and May 2013, of which 40 percent (15,733) is Copper and the rest includes other commodities such as maize, fertilizer, fuel, cement and mixed goods.
The TAZARA Managing Director has however, said that there is need for improvements by raising the capacity of the railway company to handle more freight and attain sustainable levels of operations.
Mr Phiri said the TAZARA operations were at the moment not sustainable saying there is need to have sufficient funds for use in enhancing productivity which he said will eventually enable his company to sustainably meet all the operating expenses from local resources.
He said that his company was operating in a very precarious and slippery environment where any slight disturbance to operations or to the flow of funds tended to cause instability in productivity.
In March 2013, TAZARA, ZRL and SNCC, the three railways companies operating in Tanzania, Zambia and Congo DR, jointly signed a tripartite agreement to harmonize operations.
This was meant to facilitate smooth and seamless transportation of goods and passengers by rail amongst the three railway organizations and the respective countries.
The tripartite signing ceremony followed three earlier independent business agreements entered into between the respective parties, TAZARA and SNCC, TAZARA and ZRL as well as ZRL and SNCC.