TAZARA is gateway to the Eastern, Central and Southern African business markets covering both the SADC and COMESA regional groupings, runs from the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to the town of New Kapiri Mposhi in Central Zambia where it links with the existing Zambia Railways System. The gauge of the line is same at 1067 millimeters (three and half feet) as that of Zambia Railways as well as all the other main trunk lines in Central and Southern Africa. Excellent, this is the really Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority, your preferred Transporter.
THE SADC/COMESA CONNECTION
The TAZARA railway line is designed with a 1067mm-gauge, which interfaces with traffic operations with other Southern African railways, such as Spoornet of South Africa, Botswana Railways, national Railways of Zimbabwe and Railway Systems of zambia (formerly Zambia Railways). With a designed capacity of five (5) million tones of freight per annum, TAZARA has been handling traffic for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as well as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), thereby providing a vital regional link with Southern, Eastern and Central African regions to the rest of the world, through the port of Dar es Salaam.
TAZARA also has a major role to play in the PTA trade. Its advantage is that TAZARA connects easily with PTA member countries in the South with whose railways it shares that common gauge. It also links PTA outside SADC group of states through its interface with the Tanzania Railways Limited (TRL) system at Kidatu and with the Ocean shipping system at Dar es Salaam port.
TAZARA’s importance in the Region is therefore strengthened by its advantages of linking with most of the Railway systems.
Landlocked Central African nations of Burundi and Rwanda in the great lakes region also stand to benefit from TAZARA services, whether their imports are passing through South Africa port or Dar es Salaam. Imports can be moved by Rail from Dar es Salaam to Kasama, Zambia, where they will be transshipped and moved by trucks to Mpulungu port destined to Great lakes countries.
ZIMBABWE/SOUTH AFRICAN CONNECTION
Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa can import from East Africa commodities such as paper products, aluminium articles, timber and sisal ropes, safely and efficiently by TAZARA in conjunction with contiguous railways (ZRL, NRZ, Spoornet) in the region.
Similarly, exports from Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa, i.e. heavy industrial products and machines to Eastern African Countries, can be moved by rail or by road to New Kapiri Mposhi and then by TAZARA to various destinations in Zambia and Tanzania or even transshipped in Dar es Salaam for Uganda or Kenya.
Landlocked Malawi stands to benefit from TAZARA corridor which is the safest and the best option for the Country’s imports and exports.
The routing options using this Northern route include railing cargo from the port of Dar es Salaam to Malawi Cargo Centers facilities in Mbeya, about 850kms away, and using either road shuttle and lake or rail (Malawi Railway) to Blantyre and Lilongwe (740 kms), for Malawi exports. The routing goes vice-versa, with transit time, in either direction being about 6 to 7 days only.
The other route which uses road from Mbeya after goods have been moved by TAZARA has a transit time of only 3 to 4 days from the port of Dar es Salaam to Blantyre. Malawi traders, like their counterparts in Zambia or Zimbabwe enjoy special and negotiated rates.
Copper Mining in Zambia occupies a key position as a major foreign exchange earner. In fact, Zambia is one of the leadig producers in the world, and its most favorable route is the Northern Corridor, linked at New Kapiri Mposhi with Zambia Railways and the TAZARA network to the port of Dar es Salaam. To Zambia exporters and importers in general there is no doubt about TAZARA’s reliability and cost effectiveness.