Marine Services Company Limited

Marine Services Company Limited
Native name
Kampuni ya Huduma za Meli
Formerly called
TRC Marine Division
Industry Shipping, transportation
Founded 8 December 1997 (1997-12-08)
Headquarters Mwanza, Tanzania
Number of locations
Area served
Key people
B.Rugarabamu (Ag. GM)
Services Passenger and cargo
Total equity TSh 1 million (nominal value)
Owner Treasury Registrar (100%)

Marine Services Company Limited (MSCL) is a Tanzanian company that operates ferries, cargo ships and tankers on three of the African Great Lakes, namely Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa. It provides services to neighbouring Burundi, DR Congo, Zambia and Malawi.[1][2]


Prior to its incorporation in 1997, MSCL was an integral part of the Tanzania Railways Corporation, which was formed in 1977 after the dissolution of the East African Railways and Harbours Corporation.[3][4]

On 21 May 1996, MV Bukoba capsized while travelling from Bukoba to Mwanza due to overloading.[5] At least 723 people died.[6]

Corporate affairs

MSCL is wholly owned by the Tanzanian Government via the Treasury Registrar and operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Transport.[1][2] Its share capital consists of 1,000 shares each with a nominal value of TSh 1,000. The company's head office is in the northern city of Mwanza at the shores of Lake Victoria.[3] It maintains two branch offices in Kigoma and Kyela; and liaison offices in Dar es Salaam and Kampala.[7]


Passenger services on Lake Tanganyika to neighbouring countries include Mpulungu in Zambia; Bujumbura in Burundi; and Kalemie, Uvira and Baraka in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The company also plies on Lake Nyasa between Mbamba Bay in southern Tanzania and Nkhata Bay in Malawi.[3]

Between July 2013 and April 2014, MSCL transported 231,866 passengers and 41,234 tonnes of cargo.[8]


Most of its fleet is located on Lake Victoria and includes MV Victoria, the former Royal Mail Ship. MV Liemba (formerly the Imperial German Navy's SMS Graf von Goetzen) was built in 1913 and still operates on Lake Tanganyika. The company's livery appears to be the same as TRC's predecessor, the East African Railways and Harbours Corporation: white hull above the waterline, white superstructure and buff funnel. The hull below the waterline appears to be dark red.[9]


MV Liemba, built in 1913, is the oldest vessel in the fleet.
MV Victoria, the former Royal Mail Ship, anchored at Bukoba Port.
Ship Built Rehabilitated Speed (kn) Passengers Cargo (t) Lake served
MV Butiama 1980 12.5 200 100 Victoria
MV Clarias 1961 1993 10.5 290 10 Victoria
MV Iringa 1974 1988 10 139 5 Nyasa
MV Liemba 1913 1993 10.5 600 200 Tanganyika
ML Maindi 1938 1972 8 120 Victoria
MV Mwongozo 1982 1992 11 800 80 Tanganyika
MT Nyangumi 1958 1995 9 350 Victoria
MT Sangara 1981 9 350 Tanganyika
MV Serengeti 1988 9.5 593 350 Victoria
MV Songea 1974 1994 10 212 40 Nyasa
MV Umoja 1964 11 1,200 Victoria
MT Ukerewe 1938 1972 740 Victoria
MV Victoria 1960 1989 12.5 1,200 200 Victoria
ML Wimbi 1938 1972 8 120 Victoria


In 2014, Transport Minister Harrison Mwakyembe informed the Parliament that the government's plan to purchase three new vessels from Denmark had been delayed until June 2015 because of a 163 per cent increase in costs. The acquisition will cost US$ 74.9 million and construction of the vessels will take three years. He also stated that discussions with the South Korean government are on-going to procure three vessels.[8]

Accidents and incidents

See also


  1. 1 2 "MoT Affiliation". Ministry of Transport (Tanzania). Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  2. 1 2 "Marine Transport". SUMATRA Consumer Consultative Council. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 "MSCL Profile". MSCL. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  4. "Taarifa ya Kampuni ya Huduma za Meli – MSCL Kuhusu Maadhimisho ya Miaka 50 ya Uhuru wa Tanzania Bara" [Report of the Marine Services Company on the 50th anniversary of independence of Tanzania Mainland] (PDF) (in Swahili). MSCL. 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 26, 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  5. "Lake Victoria tragedy". 1996. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  6. 1 2 Mulisa, Meddy (12 October 2014). "MV Victoria's engine failure". Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  7. "Contacts". MSCL. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  8. 1 2 "Hotuba ya Waziri Mwakyembe" [Minister Mwakyembe's budget speech] (PDF) (in Swahili). Parliament of Tanzania. 2014. p. 43. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  9. "MSC Vessels and Capacities". MSCL. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  10. "MELI YA MV VICTORIA YANUSURIKA KUTEKETEA KWA MOTO.". Michuzi Blog. February 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  11. "Panic stricken MV Victoria passengers fail to travel". The Guardian. 12 October 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
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