Maputo ends citrus season on a juicy note

Oct 29, 2003
Author: P&S

As the end of the southern African citrus season for 2003 draws to a close all indications are that record volumes have been logged.

Final results from the ports of Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, which still have fruit in the cold stores and ships to load but are reporting high volumes achieved, will remain outstanding for a few more weeks, but the port of Maputo’s Mozambique Produce Terminal (MPT) has just finalised its season with a 25 percent increase in throughput of first class fruit, compared with last year’s citrus and sub-tropical exports.

Maputo’s traditional fruit market has been Northern Europe and the Middle East but this year fruit from MPT was exported for the first time to Mediterranean ports.

“This was a very good year for us,” said Paulo Franco, MPT’s general manager. He said MPT had realized its growth targets and fulfilled all requirements to obtain the ISO 9001/2000 certified status.

“This allows us to offer a more efficient and smoother service to our customers, which in turn lowers their costs.”

He added that the recent privatisation of Port Maputo has had a positive impact on MPT’s operations. “Night sailings are as regular as day sailings now and that is a big advantage. This means there is no unnecessary waiting time.”

Franco is optimistic about the 2004 fruit season and says MPT will increase its growth targets by another 25 percent. “The market is there and we have the capacity to deliver. And when the Komatipoort border post (with South Africa) is open 24 hours a day, we can offer an even more cost effective operation.”

Alec Don, CEO of Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC) said that MPDC is focusing on quick turn around times of ships with a good quality service.

“We are obtaining good results for both our marine and stevedoring operations and believe there is an excellent opportunity for customers to enhance their international competitiveness by increasing their focus on the Maputo Corridor.”

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