SWISSPORT Tanzania said yesterday that construction of its new 13 million US dollar (over 26bn/-) state-of-the-art import cargo facility will be completed by the end of this month.
The terminal, with the capacity of handling 80,000 tonnes, is the first of its kind in Africa that uses radio frequency identification (RFID) for easing cargo identification. Swissport Tanzania Chief Executive Officer Gaudence Temu said the use of RFID cuts down tracking process and time from the previous 30 minutes to merely ten minutes now.
“This is the first facility in Africa that uses state-of-art gadgets… we have invested for the future and almost double the capacity,” Mr Temu told journalists who toured the facility.
The terminal has special cargo areas for animal, dangerous goods — such as radioactive material– morgue, pharmaceutical and two cold storage facilities of between -20 and 8 degree Celsius and a strong room.
Swissport said the terminal can handle 30 tonnes at a go, but at the moment the biggest airline that land at the Julius Nyerere International Airport delivers 15 tonnes.
Mr Temu said the small parcels that are less than 50 kilogrammes are also put into special racks that sort them automatically to make handling and delivery easier. “The entire concept is to simplify cargo handling as our business is customer oriented,” Mr Temu said, “in future it’s very easier to turn the facility to be handled by robots.”
The building is multipurpose and will have a bank, business facilities, TRA offices, Swissport head office, training centre, a gym and housing other stakeholders –clearing and forwarding agent offices, airline cargo offices.
TNT International Express Officer Prosper Mwimanzi said the facility has simplified and eased the courier clearing process compared to the old terminal. “This new terminal has space and we do not need to queue when processing our documents… and it takes less time to make clearance,” Mr Mwimanzi said. In total Swissport has increased their cargo handling capacity from 50,000 tonnes to 80,000 tonnes.
The move goes parallel with the expansion of JNIA’s terminal III. In 2015, Swissport handled some 18,000 tonnes. Swissport Tanzania is a listed company with a track record of over 30 years and is the country’s leading aviation service provider operating at JNIA and Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), Songwe Airport and Mtwara Airports.
The company, in which Swissport International and public controls 51 and 49 per cent shares, respectively, employs about 950 staff, to handle some 16,000 flights, 1,250,000 embarking passengers and 25,000 tonnes of cargo a year at the four airports.