Cabotage, or coastal freight, services in Mozambique will start in the first quarter of 2020 and will be provided by a company established under a public-private partnership, Transport and Communications Minister Carlos Mesquita said on Wednesday in Maputo.
A memorandum of understanding was signed in March 2018 between the state-owned Mozambican Maritime and River Transport Company (Transmarítima) and Peschaud Mozambique, a subsidiary of the French land, river, lake and maritime logistics group Peschaud et Cie International.
The minister said that the relaunch of coastal freight services in the country aims to diversify modes transport, and should have the immediate impact of reducing the cost of transporting products and, consequently, prices to the end consumer, according to Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias.
In the early 1980s, the government created the Mozambican shipping company Navique, which had a monopoly on cabotage cargo and had a fleet of 21 ships, for a coastline of approximately 2,700 kilometres.
With the end of the civil war in 1992 and the resumption of road traffic, there was a decrease in cargo in Mozambican ports along with a drop in the fleet due to ships being crapped but not replaced.
The minister was speaking at the first graduation ceremony of the College of Nautical Sciences, a higher education institution supervised by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, which trained 115 students in courses such as maritime navigation, maritime law, marine machine engineering, and port economics and management.