Tanzania: Interview with Mr. Ali Fawaz

Mr. Ali Fawaz

Managing Director (BNM Freight Forwarders Company Limited)

Mr. Ali Fawaz

Dar es Salaam is the principal port serving Tanzania and it is the fourth largest port on the African continent after Durban, Mombasa & Maputo. In your opinion, how can Dar es Salaam port become the first serving port in East Africa?


Dar es Salaam port is Tanzania principal port with a rated capacity of 4,1 millions (dwt) dry cargo and 6 millions (dwt) bulk liquid cargo. The Port has a total quay length of about 2,000 meters with eleven deep-water berths. Dar es Salaam port handles about 95% of the Tanzania international trade. The port serves the landlocked countries of Malawi, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda. The port is strategically placed to serve as a convenient freight linkage not only to and from East and Central Africa countries but also to middle and Far East, Europe, Australia and America. Speaking of how Dar es Salaam port being the first serving port in East Africa, it is clear that Dar es Salaam port needs to be innovative in terms of improving the infrastructure, for instance the construction of Kigamboni Bridge, which would serve as link between different places. More innovations are needed.


It handles 95% of the Tanzania international trade and Dar es Salaam port alone contributes 43% of government tax revenue alone. The port sector is essential to Tanzania development considering the impact on the economy. In your own words, could you give us an overview about the sector and the inland container market? What are the main challenges and opportunities?


It is true that Dar es Salaam port alone contribute 43% of government tax revenue. There are challenges facing Dar es Salaam port and the opportunities as well during its operations. Poor infrastructure is one of the challenges that put BNM under pressure when it comes to quick delivery of materials outside and inside the region. During ten years of President Jakaya Kikwete’s leadership, the regions are now connected by tarmac roads hence it facilitates quick delivery of materials and again the construction of Kigamboni bridge which links Dar es Salaam port and other different places is serving as the game changer towards the development of port sector in Tanzania.  


BNM forwarders have been established in 1995 and has been a freight forwarder serving Tanzania and other landlocked countries such as Zambia, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi and DRC. I would like you to share some background information about your operations in Tanzania. I would like to have some numbers as such – annual turnover, market share, number of employees in Tanzania.


BNM Freight Forwarders Company Limited was established in 1995. The company is an independently owned and operated freight forwarder serving Tanzania and all neighboring landlocked destinations like Rwanda, Malawi, RDC (Congo), Uganda, Burundi etc. With a dedicated management team that has many years of freight forwarding and traffic-management experience and a commitment to service, BNM FREIGHT FORWARDERS CO. LTD has grown to become one of the leading freight forwarding companies in East and Central Africa.


As BNM forwarders is a privately owned company and has been established for quite some time now. I was wondering if BMN is either looking for investors or looking to enter in the stock market.


BNM Freight Forwarders Company Limited was established in 1995. BNM as the company is surely looking for investors because there are a lot to be done in the sector so the investment is what BNM is seeking for.


How does BNM Forwarders communicate and showcase itself to the rest of the port & Harbor community? How do you reach your customers?


BNM Freight Forwarders Company Limited provides the best and most cost-effective full range of services for transportation of cargoes imported or exported by sea/air/land including transportation, warehousing, container stuffing and consolidation customs clearance, inland transportation, multi-model transportation and relative consultation business. Again there are offices around the whole region for instance there are offices in Congo, Zambia whereby the clients don’t need to come to head office instead they just visit our agents and they get services.


Do you consider yourself as being a leader in such competitive industry where international players are present?


With a built-in logistics support, flexibility, integrity and employees set BNM Freight Forwarders Company Limited apart from other competitors and professional capacity backed-up by strength in excess of 45 professional employees who undertake and deal with freight management and related services the company has made great strides in the span of time to rank as one of the fastest growing freight service-providers in East Africa and all the landlocked countries in Africa. Therefore BNM is ranked as one of the fastest growing freight service-providers in East Africa though the competition from international players is also another key that puts BNM where it is right now following number of innovations made in making sure that the services provided are quiet efficient and affordable.


Where do you see your company in Tanzania in ten years?


BNM Freight Forwarders Tanzania is still growing to meet demands in the market. Regarding the development of IT in the country, in the next ten years I see the changes in the sector generally. As BNM, we are constantly innovating and updating our IT systems. We have the capability to adapt to a fast growing technology in our industry. As the CEO, I believe that BNM has the potential and skills to follow the market growth if we apply as a company the necessary changes along the way. Considering the fast growing economy of Tanzania, BNM will surely have the opportunity to grow substantially. However, I cannot make any real prediction for the future but at BNM we are always looking forward for what is ahead of us.


When you look back over the past years – 20 years building up this company, what do you feel most proud of?


There are number of areas that make me feel most proud of. When looking at the achievements reached by the company since its establishment in 1995, BNM Freight Forwarders Tanzania was proud to receive the following accolade for "OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE IN CLEARING CONTAINERS FROM THE PORT YEAR 2009", hence receiving this award has had added credibility to BNM Freight Forwarders Tanzania. Although, there is still a lot that has to be done. And, we are currently going through a process in getting International Standard Accreditation to add value to our service. We are already extremely effective but with such accreditation we will be able to stand out as a partner of choice.


As to finish, would you like to share a message with the Port & Harbor Community?


I would like to assure the customers that BNM Freight Forwarders Company Limited is striving to be the best at whatever is done, and in ensuring that it gets done, the company understands that the flexibility and high quality services are required to ensure the shipments arrive on-time, intact, every time, anywhere. This is important to BNM Freight Forwarders Company Limited as the company because it is important to the customers as well. That is the goal that BNM Freight Forwarders Company Limited has to take care of the shipments by providing the best transportation service to and from the customers’ locations. At BNM, we roll with the same motto, It’s about the rush, which sums up our corporate culture: we make sure everything gets done on time.