Maputo corridor grapples with border issues as volumes escalate

Port of Maputo … 20 million tons expected through the port by the end of 2018. Source: MPDC

Dramatic improvements in trade facilitation mechanisms on the Maputo Corridor have seen trade grow beyond all expectations, with 20 million tons expected through the port of Maputo by the end of 2018, according to Barbara Mommen, CEO of the Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative (MCLI).

“During a panel discussion at the Agri Trade Indaba in Cape Town recently a lot was said about this growth – but it has brought with it a number of significant challenges,” she said.

“These remain largely the border crossing times and the difficulty of limited border infrastructure at Lebombo particularly. The 24 One-Stop operation on the corridor is yet to become a reality,” she added.
 
“On the One Stop Operations, perhaps the discussions really should be around one stop operations inward from Mozambique being handled at KM4 (and its own challenges) and one stop operations at KM7 for cargo from South to Mozambique. The border crossing times between Swaziland and Mozambique are efficient, but this is largely due to the limited volumes. The processing must be streamlined. The difficult thing for us at MCLI is knowing that the solutions are there should there be sufficient political will to address them.”
She said that on the one hand growth in trade volumes was directly as a result of the excellent infrastructure, and continued investment in infrastructure on the corridor. “But it brings with it additional complexity which we are beginning to understand more clearly now that we are able to examine the data from the corridor transport observatory which will develop and increase in range with time.”


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