A new handling record was achieved by the Port of Maputo in 2021, having registered a growth of 21% compared to the previous year. The total volumes handled in 2021 was 22.2 million tons against the 18.3 million tons in 2020. The previous record was achieved in 2019 with 21 million tons handled at the port. This growth is a reflection of a market recovery post-COVID but also of the efficient usage of the rehabilitated berths 7, 8 and 9, along with an expanded ferro slab footprint and dedicated rail siding.
“Although 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”, said the CEO of MPDC, Osório Lucas. “The rehabilitation and reinforcement of the quays 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 a MPDC operation”, the CEO explained.
Rail volumes for chrome and ferro-chrome registered a slight decrease of 4% compared to the previous year. The rail vs. road ratio has also decreased from 25%/75% in 2020 to 21%/79% in 2021. “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, CFM and 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 CEO expressed.
The investment and implementation of automation solutions within the port, continued throughout 2021, with the completion and activation of the Vessel Arrival Notification (VAN) system, the Rail Arrival Notification (RAN) system, the automation of all port weighbridges and, last but not least, the promotion and establishment of the integration between Customs, Single Electronic Window systems and port systems, to improve the efficiency in border crossing.
This last initiative is part of a larger action plan, conceived by a joint committee (composed of the Minister of Transport and Communications, Customs, SEW, GTSA/Km4 and MPDC), to address bottlenecks in the Maputo Corridor and thus improve the efficiency of cargo flow in and out of Mozambique.
2021 was a year of hardship with regards to the COVID pandemic, resulting in the loss of many lives in Mozambique. The Port decided to involve itself in solutions that preserve human life, one of its company’s core values. “MPDC decided to lead an initiative to vaccinate, through the Health Ministry, private sector staff and families, thus decreasing the pressure on the public sector and accelerating the vaccination in the country”, said Osório Lucas. The initiative named Univax led to the vaccination of staff and families of 320 plus companies in Mozambique and a donation of almost 200.000 vaccine doses for the public sector. For 2022, the Port of Maputo remains optimistic with a good prospect of continued growth. “We believe that we will embrace the full potential of our investment both in infrastructure, technological solutions and human capital. In May, we will present the new masterplan for the Port of Maputo and introduce the future of the port of all Mozambicans”, concluded the CEO.