Mozambique is a long but fairly narrow country, with an area of 801,537 km2 that stretches over 2,500 km of coastline and 4,500 km of land borders with Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Swaziland. The logistics infrastructure was designed to provide adequate gateways for the hinterland traffic through an integrated ports and railways system. The road network was conceived as a feeder system around the main urban areas, and locomotion north-south was to be made by sea for goods, and by air for the people.
Mozambique's logistical infrastructure has undergone significant development over the past decade, but still faces several challenges in terms of road network, railway, aviation, ports, waterways, and storage.
Mozambique's road network is extensive but in poor condition, with only a small portion of it paved. The road network is gradually being improved, mostly with donor funding, and concessions are being made on specific routes that charge tolls.
The completion of the Maputo-Katembe Bridge in 2018, which connects Maputo to the Katembe district, has enhanced access to the southern region of the country. Additionally, the rehabilitation of the N6 road from Beira to Machipanda and the asphalting of the N11 road from Mocuba to Milange were completed in 2019, further improving access to Zimbabwe and Malawi, respectively.
There are several national development and investment programs underway or planned in Mozambique to improve the road network. One of the major initiatives is the "Mozambique Safer Roads for Socio-Economic Integration Program" project, which is being implemented by the World Bank. A total of 508 kilometers of selected priority road sections of EN1 will benefit from rehabilitation. The section of EN1 in worst condition is about 1,050 km long, out of a total length of 2,600 km. The project will last 10 years, with two years of construction and eight years of maintenance. In phase 1, the intervention will focus on 508 km. This includes the stretches Inchope-Gorongosa (Sofala), Chimuara-Nicoadala (Zambézia) and Metoro-Pemba (Cabo Delgado). After finishing phase 1, phase 2 will immediately follow, which includes the Lúrio river-Metoro section (Cabo Delgado); the stretch from the Save river to Muchungwè and Muchungwe to Inchope (both in Sofala). Phase 3, includes the Pambara to Save river section (Inhambane). Over the next ten years, the World Bank will inject about 850 million dollars to finance the rehabilitation of the 1,050 kilometer stretch of the N1.
Mozambique's national railway network spans over 3,000 km and is managed by the state-owned Mozambique Ports and Railways (CFM) company, and by Nacala Logistics, managing the northern corridor.
The railway network has no north-south connections, unless one travels through neighbouring countries. The Mozambique railway system was developed in order to be connected with the three main ports of Maputo, Beira and Nacala, mainly to provide a transportation service for exports from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi, and for some national traffic from landlocked provinces.
There has been an extensive infrastructure rehabilitation and locomotive and rolling stock renewal across all Southern and Central networks which resulted in higher tonnage capacity and reduced travel time.
The Dona Ana - Vila Nova da Fronteira Railway Line (branch of Sena line) had been rehabilitated in 2022, over a length of 44 km, awaiting the Malawian counterpart, whose works are currently in the mobilization of material and earthworks phase. The operation of this Line will allow the circulation of commercial cargo and passenger trains from the Port of Beira to Malawi.
The acquisition of additional five locomotives, 90 carriages, and 350 wagons will align with the Mozambique government's government’s 2020-2024 five-year program.
Currently, the aviation sector in Mozambique is relatively small, with only a few airlines operating within the country. The national carrier, LAM Mozambique Airlines, is the largest airline in the country and provides both domestic and international services. Other airlines that operate in Mozambique include TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, TAAG, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways, South African Airlink, and Kenya Airways. The country also has a number of small regional airlines that provide services to remote areas.
The government has identified the development of the aviation industry as a priority, and plans to invest in new airport infrastructure, training programs for aviation professionals, and the promotion of Mozambique as a tourist destination.
Mozambique is a country with a long coastline of approximately 2,500 km, providing access to the Indian Ocean, extending from South Africa in the south to Tanzania in the north. The country has several major ports along its extensive coastline, including the ports of Maputo, Beira, and Nacala, which serve as critical gateways for international trade and neighbouring countries. Other smaller ports, such as Quelimane and Pemba, serve mostly nearby businesses and communities.
In 2022 a total of 1058 m of berthing area was rehabilitated in Port of Maputo, expanded and dredged to depths of up to 16 meters. Some of the planned investments are: creation of a food terminal (grains, sugar, vegetable oils, molasses); expansion of the container terminal; expansion of the intermodal container terminal (MICD); expanding TCM (Matola Coal Terminal) capacity to 12 MTPA.
Port of Beira has also benefited of some investments by Cornelder. The Container terminal benefitted from an investment to increase the capacity of its container storage space to an area of three hectares, as well as the building of a new five lane access road, with the option to add a further two lanes in the future. There has been investment in equipment such as in terminal tractors, Reachstackers, RoRo tugmasters, forklifts, weighbridges. With the projection expansion of storage yard, in addition to using Rubber Tyred Gantry Cranes (RTG´s) the port will be able to handle 700,000.00 TEU.
The northern Mozambican Port of Nacala plans to increase its cargo handling capacity from 100,000 TEU yearly to 252,000 TEU, a growth of over 150 percent, after the conclusion of the rehabilitation, expansion and modernisation works. The work is expected to be concluded in 2023 and includes the complete rehabilitation of the port facilities, dredging, construction of access roads, and investing in equipment. The rehabilitation, expansion, and modernization works were financed by the Japanese Development Agency (JICA), which disbursed 277.5 million dollars.
Rehabilitation of infrastructure on the pier and container terminal took place in Port of Quelimane, as well as dredging the access channel. This rehabilitation allowed for the expansion of the handling capacity of the container and general cargo terminal, allowing the manoeuvring basin, with a width of 200 m, to reach a depth of five meters, against the previous two to three meters.
In 2019, the Port of Pemba underwent significant rehabilitation and was equipped with modern equipment to handle various types of cargo, including Graphite, Marble, Cotton, Timber, and Clinker. The port is now capable of operating 24/7 and handling up to 27,000 TEUs annually, an increase from the previous 18,000 TEUs. CFM's investment of USD 5 million is expected to improve the flow of goods from the Port of Pemba, reducing the need to travel 400 km to the Port of Nacala, which causes damage to roads and wastes time and resources.
Mozambique's internal waterways have historically been an important means of transport for goods and people, but their utilization has been limited in recent years. The country has a vast network of internal waterways, including the Zambezi, Pungwe, and Save rivers, which span a total of 3,750 km However, due to a lack of investment in infrastructure and equipment, as well as the presence of natural obstacles such as sandbars and rapids, the waterways are not fully utilized.
Internal maritime transport of goods between ports was relaunched in 2020. However, cabotage has proved to be unsustainable in the national market. The revitalization of cabotage is a government initiative included in the government’s 2020-2024 five-year program, with the aim of reducing the costs of transporting goods, with an impact on prices for the final consumer.
Mozambique is divided into ten provinces, each with its own unique storage needs and challenges. In general, the storage infrastructure in Mozambique is limited, with many areas lacking sufficient storage capacity for their needs. Reliable storage facilities are often difficult to locate, particularly in rural areas.
In the southern province of Maputo, storage facilities are primarily located in the capital city of Maputo. The city is home to several modern storage facilities, including large warehouses and cold storage facilities. However, the demand for storage in Maputo is high, and many businesses struggle to find affordable storage solutions.
In the central province of Sofala, storage facilities are more limited. The port city of Beira is the primary gateway for imports and exports in the region, but the city's storage facilities are often overwhelmed by the volume of cargo passing through the port.
In the northern province of Cabo Delgado, storage facilities are even more limited. The region has a growing natural gas industry, which requires significant storage capacity for equipment and supplies.