Maputo — About 100,000 tonnes of cargo were transported in the first quarter of this year by the Northern Development Corridor (CDN), which operates the Mozambican port of Nacala, and the railway which runs from Nacala across Nampula and Niassa provinces to the Malawian border.
Landlocked members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), such as Malawi and Zambia, use the Nacala Corridor as a route to the sea.
This figure is around 25 per cent more than CDM's target for goods transport in the January to March period, which was only 79,955 tonnes.
According to a CDN press release, the increase is due to the quality of services provided by CDN, the good condition of the line, and the increase in the transport of goods along the branch line that runs to Lichinga, capital of Niassa province.
Businesses in Niassa have taken to using the railway to take goods from Nacala to Lichinga, following a substantial reduction in the rates charged by CDN. The cost to take a tonne of goods by rail from Nacala to Lichinga fell in February from 2,900 to 2,150 meticais (from 48 to 39 US dollars at current exchange rates), a fall of 26 per cent.
"During the first quarter, we moved large amounts of clinker and fertilizer to Zambia and we also registered a major flow of cargo to Lichinga. So these factors contributed to surpassing our targets", explained Dário Viegas, the official in charge of CDN's commercial area.
In the second quarter of the current year, the company seeks to make the necessary improvements to meet demand.
As for CDN's passenger services, the release said CDN trains carried 119,470 people from January to March, compared with 84,544 in the same period of 2017, an increase of almost 40 per cent.