CFM recorded a drop in the volume of cargo carried by the country's railways, but figures for the cargo handled by the ports showed a 4.2 increase.
Mozambique's public owned Ports and Railways Company (CFM) recorded a drop in the volume of cargo carried by the country's railways, but figures for the cargo handled by the ports showed a 4.2 increase in January-October 2009, compared with the same period in 2008. In his message for the New Year, the chairperson of the CFM Board of Directors, Rui Fonseca, said the ports handled 10.16 million tonnes of assorted products in the first ten months of 2009, compared with 9.76 million tonnes in the same months of 2008.
However, the railways handled 528.8 million tonne/kilometres, compared with 599 million in 2008, which is a decline of 2.4 per cent.
Fonseca pointed out that it is the railways that contribute the greater part of CFM's profits, "and so we have to reverse this scenario, carrying more traffic on the longer routes, but also increasing the amount of freight carried on the shorter routes".
As for passenger service, Fonseca stressed that the number of passengers carried on the railways had risen by 28.6 per cent, from 1.7 million in January-October 2008 to 2.19 million in the same period of 2009.
CFM's provisional operational profits for 2009 (up until November) were 569.3 million meticais (about 20.7 million US dollars).
Last year, CFM purchased (from Botswana) 29 passenger carriages, four restaurant cars, four generator wagons and another four for cargo, an investment estimated at about 1.9 million US dollars. According to Fonseca, these carriages and wagon will soon enter into use in the southern railway system, where they will provide passengers with a safer and more comfortable service.
Fonseca said that 2008 and the first half of 2009 were particularly difficult for CFM, because of the impact of the international financial crisis. "The economic recession was mostly felt in our railway system, particularly in the south, the only one of the systems which is directly operated by CFM, and which did not meet the established targets for the first half of 2009", he said.