The Port of Maputo on Wednesday declared that in 2021 it set a new record for handling cargo.
A press release from the Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC) said that in 2021 the port handled 22.2 million tonnes of cargo – an increase of 21 per cent in comparison with the 18.3 million tonnes handled in 2020.
The previous record had been set in 2019 (before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic) when the port handled 21 million tonnes.
“This growth”, the MPDC release said, “is a reflex of the post-Covid recovery of the market, but also of the efficient use of quays 7, 8 and 9, alongside the expansion of the iron terminal and a dedicated rail line”.
Although work on the three quays, including dredging, will not be completed until April, “the port has already begun to harvest the fruit of this development of its infrastructures”, said the MPDC Managing Director, Osorio Lucas.
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“The rehabilitation and strengthening of the pavement of the quays has allowed more space for larger ships to dock”, Lucas continued. “Together with the dredging of the approach channel in 2017 and other measures to improve the efficiency of maritime operations, the port has successively beaten all its handling records. It recorded a maximum of 145,545 tonnes of magnetite loaded onto a ship (at the Matola Coal Terminal), and a record of 140,000 tonnes of chromium ore loaded onto a ship”.
The amounts of chrome and ferro-chrome carried by rail showed a slight decline, of four per cent, in comparison with 2020. The ratio of rail to road transport of cargo fell from 25/75 per cent in 2020 to 21/79 per cent in 2021.
“With the recent improvements and investment in the rail infrastructure inside the port, there is enormous potential for the growth of cargo carried by rail”, said Lucas.
Joint work between MPDC and the Mozambican and South African rail companies, CFM and TFR, “have opened the path for improving rail efficiencies”, he added.