Ports of Beira and Nacala in Mozambique need more equipment

3 July 2012

A lack of cranes, tractors, tugs and other port equipment is affecting the productivity and efficiency of the ports of Beira and Nacala in Mozambique, and the latter has only enough equipment to cover 35 percent of its needs, according to Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias.

Citing a study carried out this year by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the newspaper said that despite this the two ports were gradually positioning themselves as regional ports and attracting an increasing amount of traffic from East and West Africa.

The study, which was presented publicly in the two cities, noted that demand for the port of Beira was due to the fact that its access channel had undergone emergency dredging, an operation that had been finished in July 2011.

As a result of the dredging the port recovered its original depth of 8.5 metres, which allows ships weighing up to 60,000 tons to moor at the port.

From a market point of view, the study showed that the ports of Beira and Nacala do not offer great advantages in terms of productivity and efficiency when compared to other ports in East and Southern Africa, for example Durban, in South Africa, which is considered to be the greatest competitor for Mozambican ports.

For example, the USAID study concluded, waiting times at both ports are excessively high, reaching a maximum of 26 days as compared to just four at the port of Durban container terminal, and far longer that the international benchmark waiting period of seven days.

The study recommended that a more succinct assessment be carried out on the causes of the high waiting periods at the ports of Beira and Nacala and its effects on profitability, capacity, and port operations. (macauhub)