Transit time for goods between Liwonde in Malawi and the port of Nacala in Mozambique has been reduced to just two days from four days following rehabilitation of the railway line by Vale International.
Malawian importers and exporters have since been urged to take advantage of the improvements in the rail and port facilities on the Nacala Corridor to achieve efficiency when importing or exporting goods.
Controller of rail transport services Geoffrey Magwede told Malawian journalists in Nacala on Wednesday that the route presents a cheap and short option for Malawian importers and exporters.
A Malawian business entourage is in Nacala for a stakeholders tour of the Nacala Corridor.
Magwede said the reduction in the transit time to and from the port will help businesses achieve efficiency in importing or exporting cargo as it will take them a shorter time than before.
“This is a very big opportunity for Malawian businesses because we now have access to modern rail services up to the port of Nacala, “ said Magwede.
CDN and Central East African Railways chief commercial officer, Fabio Duarte, said in addition to improved rail facilities, the Nacala port is undergoing various improvements to achieve fast loading and offloading of cargo.
He said with a US$300 million facility from Japan, the port is undergoing a number of improvements aimed at ensuring that goods don’t take long to be processed through the port.
Duarte also cleared the misconception among businesses that the corridor will prioritise coal shipments over general cargo, saying all cargo trains will be treated equally.
“Only passenger trains get priority,” he said.
The modernisation of the rail facility on the corridor was facilitated by Vale, a Brazilian company mining coal in Moatize, which has injected over US$2 billion in modernising the rail facility as well as building a new line between Moatize and Nkaya in Malawi.
Cear managing director, Hendry Chimwaza, said the trip for Malawian stakeholders has been organised for the business community to have a feel of the improved rail and port services.
He said enterprises will benefit from huge savings made through moving their cargo via the rail as opposed to other forms of transport.