Maputo — Mozambique is working to remove physical frontiers in rail transport with Malawi and Zimbabwe, as one of the strategies found for reducing transit time in the country’s rail corridors.
According to Deputy Transport Minister Amilton Alissone, the measure seeks to simplify procedures to make Nacala and Beira Corridors more competitive.
The Nacala Corridor links the northern Mozambican port of Nacala to Malawi, while the Beira Corridor runs from the port of Beira to Zimbabwe.
Alissone was speaking on Friday in the Malawian city of Lilongwe at the end of a tripartite meeting between Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia, which discussed the development of the Nacala Corridor.
The Mozambican government’s desire to eliminate the rail borders with Malawi and Zimbabwe follows the removal of the physical rail borders with South Africa on 1 July last year, and with Eswatini on 8 August.
Under the agreement with South Africa, the trains operated by the Mozambican rail company CFM, and by its South African counterpart Transnet Freight Rail (TFR), cross the border at Ressano Garcia without restrictions and without the need to change locomotives.
Under the same agreement, the Maputo Corridor, in an initial phase, now handles 21 trains of chrome and ferro-chrome a week, compared with the previous 15 trains a week.
With Eswatini, the rail border was removed for the transport of goods along the Goba line, which links the two countries. Direct trains to and from the port of Maputo are now circulating, operated by CFM and Eswatini Railways.
The two rail companies hope to double, from two to four, the number of daily coal trains using the Goba line. The amount of coal carried along the line will increase from 3,600 to 7,200 tonnes a day.