Trains have begun running between the Mozambican port of Beira and both Zimbabwe and Zambia. Although the initial composition was composed to containers, the aim is to transport around 10,000 tonnes of freight monthly, which will include fertilizer. The service is being provided by the South Africa Railway Association (SARA), which encompasses Portos de Ferro de Moc¸ambique (CFM), National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and Zambia Railways Ltd (ZRL).

SARA has identified 11 potential rail corridors, with that from Beira being the first to become operational. This line will convey import fertilizer and export copper from Zambia. Currently, such traffic is moved by road.

As part of the service, each of the three railway administrations will provide both wagons and locomotives.

In 2015, the port of Beira is expected to handle 220,000 containers, more than 2.5mt (million tonnes) of general cargo and 5mt of coal, the latter compared to just 4.6mt of coal handled in 2014.

Barry Cross