High Volume Transport

Vital transport research to ensure accessible, affordable and climate friendly transport for all.

COVID-19 impact on long-distance road transport, Tanzania


This study assessed COVID-19 impact on the transport sector and the economy of Tanzania, focusing on transport capacity use and logistics performance.

Potential impact

Key input into the Tanzanian Government strategy paper on transport as part of the wider strategy under the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Challenge

COVID-19 is having a substantial impact on the transport sector and the wider economy of Tanzania. As a result of the pandemic, transport and logistics capacity are being underused because of restrictions on passengers movements by road and rail. Physical distancing because of the pandemic has reduced use of the workforce for cargo loading and unloading. Transport and travel have been restricted with countries, such as South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia.

The pandemic has affected border crossings on the southern corridor (Mtwara to Malawi) where transporters and passengers have to undergo vaccination tests. The central corridor of Dar es Salaam to Tunduma, Mwanza and Mutukula is experiencing serious delays of up to two weeks at border crossings to Uganda and Rwanda. The northern corridor (Tanga to Arusha to Mwanza) is experiencing cross border delays at Namanga and hence forced to rest at Arusha.

The study focused on four cities Dar es Salaam (DSM), Arusha, Mbeya and Kigoma which are key to Tanzania’s transport logistics with the neighbouring countries of Malawi, Zambia, DRC, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan.


Data were obtained by survey questionnaires in five countries – Tanzania, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe – and interviews with 50 respondents in the four cities of Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Mbeya and Kigoma. Interviews were conducted with key informants in government agencies including the Ministry of Works, Transport and Tanzania Railways Corporation, Dar es Salaam Rapid Transport (DART) Tanzania Ports Authority, commercial transporters/ truckers, bus and minibus operators drivers and turn boys. In addition, some 44 recently published documents relevant to COVID-19 were reviewed.

The primary data questionnaires were collected and the data analysed using Statistical Programme for Social Sciences (SPSS) through CILT and other networks. The data were coded and analysed using SPSS to generate tables and expositions were used for interpretation and generating findings.


The study outcomes are a policy issues paper, policy information brief and policy draft which have been circulated to the 30 CILT International Member Countries and in a webinars to disseminate the study findings.