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. A 2016 census documented that the population was almost 29 million.
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.
The railway network is over 2,500 km and still has no north-south connections, unless one travels through neighbouring countries. Most of the port and railway operations are being managed by concessionaires with long-term contracts, in an attempt to improve productivity and become more cost effective.
The road network is gradually being improved, mostly with donor funding, and concessions are being made on specific routes that charge tolls. Consequently, movement north-south has been greatly improved with road renovations and the construction of new roads. Driving has become more comfortable and considerably facilitated.
Cabotage was a major means of transport of goods and passengers some 15-20 years ago, but today is almost insignificant. However, the Government is trying to revive the sector and is encouraging new private operators to invest in equipment, as the infrastructure at the ports already exists.
Concerning air transport, only Mozambique Airlines (LAM) has been providing regular service since before the country’s independence. However, the Government has recently approved a strategy to open the domestic market to other airlines. One airline (FASTJET) has started operations already and others are forthcoming in the very near future.