(AIM) – Maputo port handles about half of all the chrome produced in South Africa, which represents 70 per cent of the world market.
The general manager of the Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC), Osorio Lucas, announced this information on Wednesday during the inauguration of two new mobile cranes in the port, which marks a significant step in improving its operational efficiency.
“If we look at chrome, which is currently the most important cargo for Maputo port, we have a market share of about 50 per cent of all the chrome produced in South Africa”, said Lucas.
But the MPDC manager warned of the need to remove some hindrances to the efficient operation of the Mozambique/South Africa border at Ressano Garcia, as a condition for the port continuing to grow. This was why work is beginning this week at Pessene, along the Maputo-South Africa motorway, building a traffic management park and increasing the capacity to receive cargo in the port.
Once this aim has been achieved, the next objective for the port is to start penetrating other markets, such as Zimbabwe. This could bring advantages since, unlike South Africa, there is no road linking Maputo port to Zimbabwe. All traffic would go by rail, in line with the integrated master plan of the Mozambican Ports and Rail Company, CFM.
The MPDC points to logistical problems as a main challenge to port operations. The question, said Lucas, is how to guarantee a continual flow of traffic into the port. The current congestion, with huge queues of trucks on the South African side of the border, waiting to enter Mozambique, is a major constraint which forces ships to stay at anchor while waiting for the cargo held up on the road.
“The question of mobility along the N4 motorway is the immediate challenge”, said Lucas. “The second challenge is the training of support staff for the effective handling of the machines”.
The new mobile cranes, which cost 25 million dollars, can each handle 144 tonnes. They increase the port’s capacity from four to six mobile cranes, which will greatly boost the capacity to handle general and bulk cargo.