Enhancing security for copper and tobacco are top of the agenda for Cornelder de Moçambique, Port of Beira container and general cargo terminal concessionaire, as volumes continue to show robust growth.
According to Jan de Vries, executive managing director at Cornelder, the Beira Corridor has witnessed a spike in high-value commodities, including copper and tobacco, over the past two years. “In 2019 there was a staggering 42% increase in copper exports from Zambia and over 700% from the DRC, with more than 270 000 million tons moved,” said De Vries. “Similarly, in 2020 growth to date has continued, with volumes increasing by almost 100% from Zambia and 120% from the DRC respectively.”
While a negligible number of incidents have been registered, Beira Corridor stakeholders remain conscious of the high security risk related to these commodities and therefore remain committed to improved security procedures and infrastructure so that the Port of Beira remains a low-risk route for high-value commodities.
“In October last year we completed the first phase of a dedicated, fenced and gated 6 100-square-metre copper yard at the Port of Beira. While the entire project will have an area upwards of 13 000 sqm, the project was split into two parts to allow for immediate usage of the facilities,” said De Vries. “At present, cargo exports from Beira are stored and secured within the perimeter of the copper yard while awaiting arrival or preparation of vessels.”
In addition to the copper yard, the port earlier this year benefited from the upgrade of the CCTV system. “This system enables fully scalable, real-time surveillance of copper containers awaiting shipment, including coverage of every angle of the containers stored within the yard.”
There's also increased use of information and communication technologies as a cost-efficient way of securing high-value cargo. “Currently, corridor partners are developing an in-house app, ‘The Copper Seal Check Platform" to enhance copper security,’ added De Vries.
“With this app, cargo agents and the port will be able to share key details of copper shipments, including booking, seal, and container numbers, verify truck and driver information, and identify anomalies in the cargo packed versus cargo received at the port at the earliest possible stage, thereby increasing success rates of cargo recovery.
“We remain eager to introduce smart containers with geolocation, shock detection, temperature control, geofencing and other features as this will have a big impact on reducing risks of moving high value cargo.”