Mozambique’s Port of Beira is increasingly growing in popularity, not just through regular vessel calls but also through the size of container ships berthing at the port.
This was confirmed on May 13 when the MSC Gina became the first Panamax vessel to call at the port.
The 260-metre Panama-flagged ship with a box capacity of 4056 TEUs also holds regional freight significance, confirming reports Freight News has received about volume growth of hinterland cargo on the Beira Corridor into Zimbabwe.
This has also been confirmed on numerous occasions by Mike Fitzmaurice of the Federation of East and Southern African Road Transport Associations (Fesarta).
According to Fesarta’s chief executive, long-standing inefficiencies experienced at the Port of Durban are increasingly forcing vessels with cargo intended for landlocked countries like Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to call at Beira instead of Durban.
The increase in road freight on the corridor can also be seen in the impact it has had for Forbes Border Post between Machipanda in Mozambique and Mutare in Zimbabwe, a crossing that has found itself caught off guard by a lack of capacity and Covid-19 screening ability.
The visit by the MSC Gina re-affirms sentiments Jan de Vries of Cornelder de Moçambique shared with southern African freight industry representatives earlier this year when, during a marketing visit to Johannesburg and Cape Town, he said that the concession company was working hard towards expanding the port’s freight profile.
One of the issues he touched on was the fact that the draught had been deepened – draught issues have long been seen as an impediment to Beira’s vessel calling capacity.MSC managing director for Mozambique, Nicola del Vecchio, told Freight News that the Gina’s visit to Beira proved that the port’s basin turning and draught issues had been successfully addressed.
He said that the Gina was part of MSC’s East Africa express service that featured a route from Colombo in Sri Lanka going down the coast from Mombasa to Dar es Salaam and calling at Durban before turning around on its north-bound leg.
“Now that route also includes Beira. With the Gina stopping at the port it builds confidence for freight on the Beira Corridor and it’s our intention that vessels of this size calling at the port will become a regular feature.”
- To watch a video about the MSC Gina’s visit to the Port of Beira, click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_2kevdG9EQ