CMTL Group – Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Interview with

Ms. Memory Mavunda

Chief Operations Officer

When was the company CMTL Group established, what does the acronym CMTL stand for and what is your current main line of logistics business?

CMTL Group Ltd was established in 2007 as a courier services company. In 2008 it acquired Continental Movers (T) Ltd, which led to it growing and offering relocation services for office furniture and accessories, household goods and personal effects for individuals and organisations. CMTL stands for Clearing, Moving, Transportation and Logistics. CMTL is currently licensed by the Tanzanian authorities in the following areas: Storage, Courier Services, Clearing and Forwarding, Archiving and Transportation, as well as Import and Export services.

Having celebrated ten years in business, CMTL is now a leading force within the logistics industry in Tanzania, delivering cost-effective logistics and transportation solutions. Owning a good fleet of vehicles (including trailers, fuel tankers, cranes, box body trucks and others) means we can provide all those services under one roof, including acquiring customs clearance for the delivery of consignments to Tanzanian regions, East and Central Africa.

Our mainline of Logistics business is transhipment, mainly to East and Central African Countries, with our most popular destinations being DRC Congo, Zambia, Kigali and Rwanda.

Below is a summary of our services:

  • Transportation
  • Storage facilities
  • Office and residential relocation
  • Inbound and outbound clearing and forwarding via sea and air freight
  • Local and international relocation services
  • Distribution services
  • Break bulk
  • Project cargo
  • Ro-Ro shipments

Tanzania has a strategic location in East Africa. Can you please tell our readers about the ports of Tanzania mainly used for project cargo?

Tanzania is indeed a gateway to East Africa. Being surrounded by so many landlocked countries, we have the benefit of handling most cargo headed for those countries.

Dar es Salaam port is the Tanzanian principal port, with a rated capacity of 4.1 million (dwt) dry cargo and 6.0 million (dwt) bulk liquid cargo. It is operational twenty-four hours and has a total quay length of about 2,600 metres, with eleven deep-water berths. Dar es Salaam handles about 95% of the Tanzanian international trade. The port serves the landlocked countries of Malawi, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.

The port is strategically placed to serve as a convenient freight linkage, not only to and from East and Central African countries, but also to the Middle East and Far East as well as Europe, Australia and America.

Apart from Dar es Salaam, there are also Tanga and Mtwara ports that can handle some shipments. Note that these are quite small and not all vessels will call these ports. For bulky shipments, I would recommend Dar es Salaam and sourcing barges to other ports or use of road surface transport. However, due to road restrictions you’ll need permits, escorts etc.

Can Tanzanian ports be used for transhipment to other countries nearby? If so, provide us with some examples of projects that you have handled, even perhaps in transhipment.

Apart from 20/40ft containers which we have delivered to Zambia, DRC Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi and Uganda, we have also handled the below shipments and their accessories

  1. Below – Break bulk shipment 1x Mafee weighing 40tons to Supa Oil Zambia. Dimensions were 14.5m X 3.3m X 3m.

2.      Below – Delivery of 5x Garbage Trucks to Ministry of Water in Kampala, Uganda.

3.      Below  – Ro-Ro shipment 2 X Mobile cranes 38tons each  delivered to Tanga Port. We did customs clearance for the machines and accessories and delivered them by barge to Tanga port

How is the relationship currently between Tanzania and China?  I recall from the past that the Chinese built the Chinese/Tanzanian railway, among others. Are they still very active in your country with investments etc?

Yes, the railway is still operational, however we haven’t been able to use it as most of our clients prefer road transportation, as they are usually working to deadlines.

I believe Tanzania is open for business and organisations from around the world do come for investment. As a company, we are members of logistics networks such as CLC Projects of course, WCA, X2, Cargo Connections and IAM. Through these, we do meet a lot of Chinese agents who have projects in Tanzania and East Africa in general, which I believe means one can conclude that the Chinese are quite active in the country.

Is customs clearance difficult in Tanzania? Is corruption a problem these days? What about cargo destined via Tanzania to inland or other countries? Where does customs clearance take place?

Customs is not that difficult, but like any other African country, bureaucracy can be a problem. However, the organisations have really taken a long stride as clearance now takes an average of five days. Transhipments are very fast and  easy if all the documents are in order, taking an average of three days. The existing government has fought corruption to such an extent that we don’t even seem to hear any news reports of issues. Everyone is on the lookout and systems have been put in place to allow businesses to operate comfortably.

Customs clearance for cargo to Tanzania inland is done through the Tanzania Revenue Authority portal, which allows declarations and payment to be done from the comfort of our office. Our team, however, will have to visit the port or ICD for verifications and inspections of the cargo. As for East African Countries we also use the Tancis system to upload documents. These countries also have their customs offices in Tanzania, where endorsements occur, which helps to speed up clearance for transhipments.

Tanzania is famous as a tourist spot.  Please tell us about places that you would recommend would-be visitors to see in your country.

1 Mount Kilimanjaro
2 Serengeti National Park
3 Zanzibar Beaches
4 Ngorongoro Conservation Area
5 Lake Manyara National Park
6 Mafia Island
7 Tarangire National Park
8 Pemba Island
9 Village Museum, National Museum
10 Katavi National Park

Who are CMTL’s contacts when it comes to project cargo and inquiries etc.?

The shipping team is being headed by Enisa Francis, Clearing and Forwarding Manager.
Jacqueline Shao is Logistics Manager.
Albert Swai is Transport Manager.

What’s the best way to reach you?

Tel: +255 756 757575/ +255 766 071357
Email: mmavunda@cmtl.co.tz, info@cmtl.co.tz
www.cmtl.co.tz