Maputo — The Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC) announced on Sunday that the Port of Maputo handled 21 million tonnes of cargo in 2019, beating the previous record of 19.5 million tonnes achieved in 2018.
This eight per cent increase was attained largely due to the flow of chrome through the port, which accounted for 30 per cent of the goods handled.
But, despite the rehabilitation of the railway between Maputo and South Africa, 82 per cent (6.4 million tonnes) of the chrome exports reached Maputo port by road.
However, MPDC claims that joint work is underway between the port and the Mozambican and South African rail companies (CFM and Transnet) in order to ensure that more of the chrome is carried by rail rather than road.
These efforts, according to the MPDC release, "are having positive results in achieving greater efficiency on the railway and a better balance between road and rail cargo".
MPDC said that, with the expansion of the Maputo container terminal, plus a "bold marketing strategy", the handling of containers grew by 53 per cent, compared with 2018. A total of 162,000 TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units) moved through the port in 2019.
The project to rehabilitate several of the quays will be concluded in 2020 (the first phase in May, and the second phase in July). The release said this will lead to "greater efficiency in the handling of cargo".
The depth of the water at these quays will be 16 metres, and they will greatly increase the mooring capacity of the port.
New cargo handling equipment, such as mobile cranes, loaders, and equipment for unloading rail wagons, contributed to the results achieved in moving bulk cargoes, said MPDC.
The port had also implemented automatic systems in 2019, and a complete training centre (including simulators) "to improve operational efficiency and safety".