Maputo, 21th January 2021: The volumes handled by the Port of Maputo in 2020 decreased 13% in comparison to 2019, handling 18.3 million tons compared to the 21 million tons of the previous year throughput. This decrease is mainly related to the pandemic of COVID-19 and the measures taken to prevent the spread , such as the border closure and the South-African full lockdown between March and April 2020 and the border operation restrictions that were felt thereafter.
On the other hand, the rail volumes for chrome and ferro-chrome registered a remarkable increase of 33% in comparison to 2019. With a growing tendency in the last years – a reflection of the efficiency measures that have been taken by the Port of Maputo and rail operators CFM and Transnet in the last couple of years – the pandemic has given a positive push for migration of chrome and ferro-chrome bulk cargo from road to rail, being that the road vs. rail ratio has grown from 20% in 2019 to 25% of total volumes in 2020.
In spite of the decrease in total volumes handled, MPDC gives full support to the measures taken to contain the pandemic. “One of our main company values is Human Life, and we strongly believe in taking care of our staff and fellow compatriots. The battle against the pandemic is one that needs to be fought by all of us”, affirmed Osório Lucas, Chief Executive Officer at MPDC.
“Although our volumes slightly decreased and we had to implement financial contingency measures, we kept our compromise to invest in expanding and improving the port’s infrastructure”, he added. Such investment was made during 2020 in the berth rehabilitation project, the berths deepening of up to -16 meters, the expansion of bulk minerals slabs and the investment in rail capacity. All these projects are currently in its conclusion phase and will be delivered before the third quarter of 2021.