Abhilash Kunjupilla & Jan Crafford – Imperial Clearing and Forwarding

Maputo shows the way in futureproofing farms and food resources

DP World has transformed the port of Maputo, Abhilash Kunjupilla of Imperial Clearing and Forwarding, a DP World company, told the International Fresh Produce Association’s Southern Africa conference last week. With a weekly service from Maputo that will call at four additional East African ports (Beira, Dar es Salaam, Mombasa, Beira and Nhava Sheva) and, he pointed out, in the short to midterm the port of Durban will need to be dredged, which makes Maputo really key.

The port is perfectly placed to reach high-demand markets in the Middle and Far East and accessible to fruit producers in four countries: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Eswatini and Mozambique itself.

Over the five years from 2022, the expected export growth for berries is 110% and for citrus 39%, his colleague Jan Crafford explained. Other categories will show more modest growth: 15% growth on deciduous fruit exports, 6% for subtropical fruit and 3% for grapes.

“This growth will mean around 230 million citrus cartons through Southern African ports which equates to about 2.8 million pallets or 143,000 containers,” he said. “Durban won’t cope - there must be support through Maputo.”

Abhilash Kunjupilla and Jan Crafford of Imperial Clearing and Forwarding spoke at the IFPA conference (photo: Brent Abrahams)

Exports through Maputo to be supported by rail
“Teams at DP World in Maputo worked closely with family-run citrus farms throughout the region to understand their business needs. One of the outcomes of this dialogue was the identified need of reefer logistics: chilled storage solutions for transporting produce en masse,” he said, noting that the Maputo option has significantly cut down product wastage.

DP World currently has an inland depot at Komatipoort with a central rail point in Mpumalanga planned which will collect containers for Maputo.

“Our goal is to create trade corridors,” he said. “A recent development is that CFM [Mozambique’s railway company; Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique] are allowed to run into South Africa, which wasn’t always possible.”

This season only about a fifth of volumes committed to Maputo realised but, Jan Crafford told FreshPlaza, it was a result of the market conditions and fruit characteristics this season, which favoured more exports to Europe instead of to the Middle and Far East.

“All indications are that next year’s sizing will be more in line with the requirements of the Middle East and Far East and then more volumes will flow through Maputo.”

Global net zero carbon footprint by 2050
“At DP World we are reinventing and futureproofing supply chain to be more speedy, cost-efficient and sustainable. We’re trying to make a positive impact on people and the planet while we try to unlock trade,” Mr Kunjupilla told the audience.

“We are working towards decarbonizing our global operations to be net zero by 2050. In South Africa we have partnered with Nedbank to create a $60 million credit facility to demonstrate an innovative approach that puts sustainability first.”

For more information:
Jan Crafford
Imperial Clearing and Forwarding
Tel: +27 83 640 0389
Email: Jan.Crafford@dpworld.com

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