The Port of Maputo has achieved a new handling record, registering growth of 21% in 2021 compared with the previous year.
The total volume handled in 2021 was 22.2 million tons against 18.3 million tons in 2020, the Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC) announced on Wednesday.
The previous record achieved was 21 million tons handled in 2019.
The growth was a reflection of post-Covid market recovery but also of the efficient usage of the rehabilitated berths seven, eight and nine, along with an expanded ferro slab footprint and dedicated rail siding, the MPDC said.
“Although (work is) still not concluded – the full rehabilitation, including dredging, is estimated to be delivered in April – the Port has already reaped the fruits of this infrastructure development,” the company’s CEO, Osório Lucas, said.
“The rehabilitation and reinforcement of the quay’s surface allowed berthing space for bigger vessels.
“Paired with the dredging performed in 2017 and other marine efficiency measures, the Port successfully broke all its handling records, having registered a maximum of 145 545 tons of magnetite loaded in one vessel (at the Matola Coal Terminal) and a record of 140,000 tons of chrome ore loaded in an MPDC operation.”
Rail volumes for chrome and ferro-chrome registered a slight decrease of 4% compared with the previous year.
The rail versus road ratio has also decreased from 25%:75% in 2020 to 21%:79% in 2021.
Lucas added: “With the recent upgrades and investment in rail infrastructure inside the port, there is huge potential for growth in rail volumes.
“In the past couple of years, the joint work between MPDC, Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM) and Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has also paved the way for an improvement in rail efficiencies.
“We trust that the stakeholders will address the current challenges together so that we continue to work on more balanced volumes between rail and road cargo.”
The investment and implementation of automation solutions within the port continued throughout 2021, with the completion and activation of the Vessel Arrival Notification system, the Rail Arrival Notification system, the automation of all port weigh bridges and the establishment of the integration between customs, single electronic window systems and port systems, to improve the efficiency in border crossing.