Maputo Port Development Concession (MPDC), the concessionaire of the Port of Maputo, expects, by the end of 2022, to have handled just over 26 million tons of cargo, against 22.3 million tons in 2021, an increase of around 18%.
By November, the Port of Maputo had already handled 24 million tons.
The figures were revealed in Maputo on Monday (05-12) by MPDC executive director Osório Lucas, during a report on the balance of activities for the 2022 financial year. Lucas attributed the growth in cargo handling in part to greater demand for energy products such as mineral coal, mainly in Europe.
With this increased demand, coal, magnetite and ferro-chromium will represent 18 million tonnes out of the expected 26 million tonnes, Lucas underlined.
In addition to demand in Europe due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Lucas said that commitments in technologies that improve the efficiency of Maputo Port were also helping.
“What will contribute to achieving these goals is the improvement in efficiency in Port of Maputo, the technological solutions which were introduced, in partnership with Customs, the Km4 manager and MCnet, as well as the improvement in rail services. Although the number of trains fell, the volume of rail cargo rose by more than 100%, from 1.2 million tons to 2.5 million tons,” Lucas revealed.
One of the great challenges facing MPDC in the coming year is to improve rail services.
Lucas remarked on the increase in the volume of cargo transported by public company Portos e Caminhos de Ferro (CFM), and its South African counterpart, Transnet.
“We have to continue to reduce the waiting time for trucks at the Ressano-Garcia border, although it has already fallen considerably. We also have to continue to improve efficiency in the port itself,” Lucas said.
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Another challenge is space in the port itself, which will soon be exhausted, despite the government having approved enlargement only a year ago. This is due, in part, to greater use by South African economic agents for the port services in foreign trade.
Concession space at the Post of Maputo has increased from 140 hectares (in 2003) to the current 278 hectares. ‘Carta’ was able to verify during a guided tour of the facilities that MPDC is carrying out work in the recently concessioned space both to receive more cargo and improve the efficiency of handling.
But, “the physical limit of the Port of Maputo is almost reached,” Lucas says. “The port has already grown a lot and reached the limit again. The big question now is how to maintain growth.”
Lucas stressed that the MPDC must above all continue to maintain trust between the Port of Maputo and the South African market: “It is very hard to earn, but easy to lose,” he said.