The port of Maputo set an annual cargo handling record in 2018 and broke the existing record set in 2014 as it handled 19.5Mt in 2018, up 7.14% on the previous year.
The government of Mozambique has partly attributed the rise to the dredging of the access channel in 2016, while the volume of cargo arriving at the port has increased on the back of a cooperation agreement between Transnet Freight Rail and Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM), the state rail operators of South Africa and Mozambique respectively. For example, the volume of ferro-chrome and chromium shipped by Maputo increased by almost 100% in 2017 and by 53% last year.
Work will begin on port improvements this year, including redeveloping berths 6, 7, 8 and 9, all of which will have a draft of 15m. They will also be extended, which should attract larger vessels and ensure a higher occupancy rate. Two new Liebherr mobile harbour cranes were delivered to the port at a cost of US$19M in February.
The COO of Porto de Maputo, Marla Calado, said: “Our turnaround times have been improving (and are often faster than in the region). We believe this new equipment will enable us to further increase our operational efficiency, our competitiveness and our volumes in terms of cargo handling.”
Calado added: “In addition to the two mobile harbour cranes, we have recently acquired 14 payloaders, eight tractors, eight forklifts and two rail wagon diggers. This investment is in line with the need to improve the berth usage and the rehabilitation and deepening works that are taking place at the moment.”
The port is operated by Maputo Port Development Company, which is owned by CFM, Grindrod, DP World and local company Mozambique Gestores under a concession that has now been extended to 2025 with an option for another 10 years.