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First cargo ship sets sail after coastal shipping resumes in Mozambique


A Maersk container ship docks at the Port of Maputo on April 29, 2020. The maritime trade is crucial for Mozambique’s coastal economy. (Photo via Maputo Port Authority)

The first ship transporting cargo along the Mozambican coast left Maputo on Tuesday for a 12-day voyage to the northern Port of Pemba, marking the official resumption of the coastal shipping service after a 30-year hiatus in the country.

The Minister of Transports and Communications Janfar Abdulai who witnessed the process in Maputo said that the service is expected to dynamize Mozambique’s agriculture sector, considered as fundamental to help alleviate and reduce poverty.

“We will continue promoting the coastal shipping also for the transport of passengers. We are expecting to acquire three new vessels that will reinforce regions where transport remains a concern, particularly in the north, center and some parts of the south region,” said the minister.

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The ship, with the capacity to transport 260 containers, will stop halfway at the ports of Beira and Nacala, before it arrives in Pemba with some 900 tons of goods.

Managers will also use the first trip to evaluate the ports’ capacity to handle this type of service, before it is advanced to the second phase with specific dates for operations.

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