By TZ Business News Staff.
A new marketing strategy has improved performance of the Tanzania-Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA). Passenger train services are running smoothly on the 1,860 kilometre long ‘Uhuru Railway Line’ stretching between Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and New Kapiri-Mposhi in Zambia, according to TAZARA Head of Public Relations, Conrad Simuchile, but the bigger achievement has been on freight increase.
The railway line reports it has regained customer confidence in the wake of marketing effort by
the railways line’s new Chief Executive, Eng. Bruno Ching’andu. Some 19,000 tons of cargo has passed through TAZARA in the last three months alone as service to customers in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia, according to a statement.
“For sometime now, we have not handled cargo for the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Tanzania Fertiliser Company (TFC). Things are changing, thanks to the good show in our performances,” the statement says.
“In the last three months we have hauled about 19,000 tons of maize on behalf of WFP and fertiliser on behalf of TFC. The 10,000 tons of maize were destined for Malawi while the 9,000 tons of fertilizer were moved to Makambako and Mbeya,” the statement on Simuchire’s Facebook Wall. reads. “We are doing so well, delivering in record times with good assurances on security. We are heading somewhere. It’s a good show.”
The story is even better on the Zambia side of the railway line, where the railway line has secured new orders to transport at least 165,000 tonnes of freight for various companies on the Copperbelt Province of Zambia this year, signalling renewed confidence to the railway line.
The freight orders follow TAZARA Managing Director’s visitations to various shippers and logistics companies in the Northern, Lusaka and Copperbelt Provinces of Zambia last week, TAZARA spokesperson, Conrad Simuchile, said in a statement.
Lusaka Times says the visitations resulted in confirmation of new orders for the transportation of at least 15,000 tons every month, from February 2017, which will translate to about 165,000 tons by the end of the year.
All the customers visited appreciated the renewed drive and improvements exhibited in the operations of TAZARA so far and affirmed their confidence and desire to resume business relations with the railways.
The new orders confirm that we are moving in the right direction as far as restoration of confidence is concerned. The market is happy and that is encouraging,” says Eng. Bruno Ching’andu, who was appointed as Managing Director in April 2016 and was visiting TAZARA’s customers in Zambia for the second time within eight months of joining the Authority.
It is exciting that there is so much interest and desire to use the railways,” said Eng. Ching’andu. Since joining TAZARA, Eng. Ching’andu has instilled discipline in the railway operations, with the Authority now registering improved performance indicators for freight trains as well as passenger trains.
Many clients are now indicating that they would opt to use railway services instead of roads because of the assured safety, security, reliability and administrative convenience from the use of railways.
The customers visited by Eng. Ching’andu included Kalungwishi Estates in Kasama; Impala Terminals, Bridge Shipping, Lafarge Zambia Plc and Gourock Zambia Ltd in Ndola; Manica Freight and Chambishi Copper Smelter in Kitwe.
In the meantime, TAZARA workers who went on strike a few weeks ago demanding a pay-rise resumed work as discussions concerning their issues continue. Passenger train services which had been suspended on the Zambia side resumed. A major railway line rehabilitation program is also under way to improve apparent disrepair in some sections of the prestigeous railway line built in part to fight racism in South Africa.