The truck park for minerals coming from South Africa, located in Pessene, Moamba district, Maputo province, is already having the effect for which it was built by the MPDC (Port of Maputo) in partnership with the provincial government: to reduce congestion on the National Road Number Four (EN4). This is according to users of the road, which links Maputo with South Africa.
Erected by the concessionaire of the Port of Maputo, Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC), as part of the measure taken by the government in March last year to ban the movement of ore trucks from 6am to 8am in the morning and from 4pm to 6pm in the afternoon, the park, which runs along the EN4, has already been operational since 1 December 2023. And in just a few weeks, its positive effects have already been felt, with a marked relief in congestion on the road.
The Senior Operations Manager at the Port of Maputo, Ricardo Almeida, explained that in order to guarantee the efficiency of the park’s operations, the MPDC has allocated a team that works 24 hours a day, made up of its technicians, traffic police, cargo agents who represent customers, as well as catering.
In addition, the MPDC has defined a management plan for the gradual entry and exit of lorries so that they don’t flood the EN4 and other entrances at set times and beyond. According to our interlocutor, the park manager doesn’t let all the lorries leave at the same time. The park (with a capacity to hold around 300 lorries) releases the lorries in numbers of 10 to 15 and also leaves them for a period of 10 to 15 minutes. “This ensures that the congestion that is avoided in the 06.00 to 08.00 interval, for example, doesn’t spill over into 09.00 or 10.00,” explained Mr Almeida.
As part of this plan, our source also explained that, in addition to the interdiction periods, in recent days all the lorries have been passing through the Pessene park, where on entering they pre-check the documents (sorting and correcting any deviations) so that when they arrive at the port of Maputo or Matola, they don’t take too long to dispatch the cargo. After the check (which takes between five and eight minutes), the trucks proceed to the car park in queues and in order of arrival. In other words, the first to enter is the first to leave at 8am in the morning and at 6pm at the end of the day.
“The car park also helps in the event of accidents on the EN4. In these situations, the lorries are ordered to remain in the park to avoid blocking the road, while the police clear the area of the accident. The park also retains lorries in the event of congestion on the road until the situation is regularised. This has an advantage because, in addition to road safety, it reduces the transit time of the lorries,” explained the Senior Operations Manager at the Port of Maputo.