Mtwara Port-Tanzania Ports Authority

Mtwara port is one of the three major ports managed by Tanzania Ports Authority. Others are Dar es Salaam and Tanga. The deep water port at Mtwara was built between 1948 and 1954. Development of the deep water port was accompanied by railway construction from Mtwara and Nachingwea. With the failure of the groundnut scheme, the railway line fell into disuse and is now defunct. The port however, continues to function but is underutilized.
The Mtwara Port was built during the British colonial period in the city of Mtwara in southern Tanzania. The harbor at Mtwara Port was deepened during the colonial era by the British in 1948-1954, and a railway was built connecting the port, as part of the Tanganyika Peanut Scheme. Due to the failure of the scheme, the port immediately lost its value and the railway was removed. The port was in operation but not sufficiently used for many years due to poor transportation infrastructure, however, in the 2010-2011 years, increased activity in the exploration of oil and natural gas resources caused an increase in operations. The Mtwara Port is also an integral part of the Mtwara Development Corridor project and has recently seen significant upgrades. The port also has a Special Economic Zone attached to it, and in December 2015, Alistair Freeports Ltd. pumped $700,000 to modernize the export processing area around the port area.
Historically, the port handled very little cargo due to the lack of large industries in the area. Cashews have always been the main export out of the port. The port has a quay wall of 385 meters and can accommodate two ships and one ocean vessel at a time. Previously, the port was only able to dock ships of up to 175 meters in length, but with recent renovations in 2015, the port could dock 209 million ships in February 2015. The port handles 400,000 metric tons of cargo annually and makes up less than 5% Of the total countries movement of goods, however, the government plans to radically develop the port to facilitate trade in the southern part of the country.

The harbor is an integral part of the Mtwara development corridor project. Infrastructure is currently being developed around the port to help facilitate the handling of more cargo at the port. The port is set to be an alternative shipping gateway for goods destined for southern Tanzania, Malawi, eastern Zambia and northern Mozambique. Moreover, for the success and growth of major coal and iron mining projects such as the Mchucuma Iron Mine and Liganga Mine, they must be able to handle high capacity bulk loads to facilitate exports through the port.