Road freight levels in Mozambique are “inconceivable” – Leader of largest bank in the country

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(2015-07-10) The chairman of the Millennium Bim bank, Rui Fonseca, said on Thursday that it is “inconceivable” that 90% of the heavy load in Mozambique is being moved by road, and warned of the consequences of poor road maintenance for the country.

“It is inconceivable that most of the heavy freight in the country is transported by road. You cannot do that. There is no road system in the world that can withstand it,” warned the head of Mozambique’s largest bank during the Economic and Social Forum in Mozambique’s ‘Infrastructure and Logistics Challenges’ conference, currently taking place in Maputo.

The data presented by Fonseca, who previously acted as vice-president of the Board of Directors of the African Union Railways, indicates that 90% of heavy freight in Mozambique is carried by road, which contributes to the rapid destruction of roads, as well as constituting a great weakness in logistical flexibility.

“It is inconceivable that ferrochrome, coal and iron ore are transported by road,” said Fonseca, arguing that Mozambique should take advantage of its maritime potential, with some 2,800 kilometres of coastline and strong international maritime links.

It is estimated that the port of Maputo, the country’s largest, receives over a thousand cargo trucks-worth of goods a day, mainly from neighbouring countries, with concomitant advantages vis-à-vis congestion levels.

“The sea is the cheapest road in the world and we unfortunately make little use of it,” added Fonseca, highlighting the need for the country to adopt transport integration policies, but warning that this is only possible after a “strict planning of the territory.”

“Thirty percent of all international trade generated by international shipping goes straight past our eyes, very year,” said the leader of the financial group owned by Millennium bcp, in an allusion to the Mozambique Channel, currently regarded as a high-intensity international maritime traffic zone.

At the same conference, the Mozambican Minister of Transport and Communications, Carlos Mesquita, said that the government aims to adopt an integrated and sustainable transport policy in order to attract foreign investment and make the Mozambican market more competitive at the regional level.

“Given Mozambique’s geo-strategic position, it is critical that we step up and facilitate sea access for our landlocked neighbours. We must carry forward economic development plans efficiently both at home and in tandem with neighbouring countries,” said Mesquita.

Source: Lusa

Photo: O País / A view of the ‘Infrastructure and Logistics Challenges’ Mozefo debate where Rui Monteiro participated.

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