Dec. 20, 2016


Jared H. Zerbe

Tanzania

Jared H. Zerbe

CEO, Tanzania International Container Terminal Services Limited (TICTS)

BIO

Jared H. Zerbe is currently the CEO of the TICTS. He has worked in a number of senior commercial and legal roles and is licensed as a solicitor in England and Wales and as an attorney in the US. He was previously based in Hong Kong as the Executive Director of International Development for China Merchants, and as a manager for Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) in acquisitions, commercial transactions, and infrastructure privatizations in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas. Before moving to Hong Kong, he was a lawyer based in the UK specializing in international infrastructure projects.

How would you assess the new government's approach to developing maritime transport in Tanzania?

The government is taking a comprehensive view and looking at multiple projects. However, a port is only as good as the transport corridor it is part of. We can have the most efficient port in the world, but it will be ineffectual if it is not supported by good road and hinterland connections. This is particularly true for a country like Tanzania that also deals with a great deal of transit cargo for neighboring landlocked countries. The intention is there and visible in the discussions the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) is having with The World Bank to obtain additional financing to improve and modernize not only the port, but the connections to it. They want whatever allows the transportation corridor to work efficiently and their goods to move at a reasonable price with predictable timing and security to their intended destination.

What differentiates the berths operated by the TPA versus TICTS at Dar es Salaam Port and how do you cooperate with TPA to ensure that the country benefits?

The TPA operates berths one through seven and TICTS has berths eight to 11 at the port. TPA handles many different types of cargo, including containers, general cargo, bulk, ro-ro, and everything else. TICTS is a container terminal and our focus is on handling containers and related services, such as storage. Our lease agreement is for berths eight to 11 and we still have another nine years left on our concession, which has already been extended once. We work together with the TPA on many different initiatives and activities. We are doing plenty of joint marketing on the land trade corridor from Dar es Salaam to the landlocked countries in the region.

What is the level of investment made by TICTS in Tanzania so far?

In terms of our investments in Dar es Salaam Port over the last 15 years, we have made USD106 million in capital investments between 2001 and 2015. The two new quay cranes represent another USD20 plus million. This means close to USD130 million in total investment by TICTS at Dar es Salaam Port. We have paid over USD152 million in royalties and lease payments to the TPA. We have collected USD382 million in wharfage that is passed on to the TPA and paid more than USD84 million in corporate taxes since 2001.

How do you cooperate with other stakeholders to build an efficient multimodal logistics network to serve the region?

There have been a number of improvements, especially in the Dar es Salaam-Rwanda corridor. There used to be more than a dozen checkpoints along that route and now there are only three. We are working to make that corridor more competitive; for example, we want to add a regional bank with branches in all these countries to facilitate payments. This would cut down on bank transfer fees and time delays. We are working with the Shipping Association, the Freight Forwarders Association, the shipping lines, and the TPA to look at how we can make the transport chain more competitive.

What specific goals and expectations does TICTS have for 2017?

We have been doing our budgets and forecasts for 2017 and expect the year to be a bit flat at best. Overall, in terms of trends, in 2014-2015 container traffic in sub-Saharan Africa declined more than in most other regions of the world. Most of this is because of commodities, particularly in China, not buying as much from the region. The traffic mix is different; we have much more transshipment now and more empties. Therefore, the actual imports-exports, which are the most profitable part of the business, are less in terms of the total mix of traffic.