Maputo is the largest city and capital of Mozambique. It is famous as "City of Acacias", which refers to acacia trees found along its avenues, and "Pearl of the Indian Ocean". Currently, it is a port city, with economy centered on the harbour. In 2007 the population of Maputo was 1,766,180 people on a total city area of 346.77 km2 (133.89 ml2). Cotton, sugar, sisal, copra, chromite and hardwood are chief exports. The city manufactures pottery, furniture, cement, rubber and shoes. The city of Maputo is surrounded by Maputo Province, but administered as its own province.
In 1971, Port Maputo had a record year with handled a total of 17 million tons of cargo. The seaport one of Mozambique's 3 main cargo ports on the Nacala-Beira-Maputo route. The port is managed by Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC) - joint venture of DP World (Dubai-based corporation) and Grindrod Ltd (South Africa).
The government leased the port to MPDC until 2030 in order to upgrade its infrastructure. Dredging and development projects will allow the seaport to be able to handle significantly larger cargo volumes per year. The aim is 30 million cargo tons by 2030 (the end of concession period).
- Dredging works in the channel were completed in 2010. Since then, the port can handle bigger (Panamax) vessels with larger cargo capacities. Investments were also made in cargo terminals - including bulk, liquid, metals, granite, coal.
- A new car terminal (with max capacity 57,000 vehicles) is planned under the 2018 agreement between MPDC and Hoegh Autoliners (cargo shipping line owned by Leif Hoegh & Co). The facility will serve vessels on the route Europe-Middle East.
- The port's coal export's annual volumes from Matola is around 10 million tons. By year 2020, Port Maputo is expected to generate ~USD 160 million annually. By year 2030, the port's coal capacity will be increased to 25 trains per day and 1500 trucks - to a total of 50 million tons of cargo annually. The investment in this development project exceeded USD 500 million.
- In 2016, the port handled a total of 955 vessel calls. In 2017, this number dropped to 896, but the handled cargo was increased by 3,3 million tons - due to the increased size of visiting cargo ships.
- In 2017, the port reported a 22% increase in cargo shipping, with handled 18,2 million tons (compared to 14,9 million in 2016). The result was affected by the completed in January 2017 access channel dredging allowing larger vessels into port. The channel's max draft was deepened from 11 m (36 ft) to 12,2 m (40 ft). This resulted in increased max parcel size of 40% (Maputo Main Port) and 55% (Matola Terminal).
- In July 2017, at Matola Coal Terminal was inaugurated the deepened berth, which now allows docking of vessels with max draft 15,4 m (50 ft) along the quayside. The berth now can handle fully-loaded Panamax ships with max LOA length 275 m (900 ft). Since the berth's opening, the terminal's average vessel upliftment is 85.000 tons. In 2017, Matola Terminal reported a record cargo volume of 5,3 million tons.
- Also in 2017, DP World Maputo Container Terminal started an expansion project (completed in January 2018) increasing the terminal's containership capacity from 150,000 TEUs (containers) to 250,000 TEUs. Phase 2 of the expansion project will increase the terminal's annual capacity to 450,000 TEUs.
- In 2017, port's rail cargo shipping operations (rail freight volumes) were also increased. The largest portion of rail cargoes shipped through Port Maputo include chrome ore and ferro-chrome. In 2017, their volume was doubled - from 411,000 tons (2016) to nearly 1 million tons (2017).
- In 2018 started another port redevelopment project - rehabilitation of berths 6, 7, 8, 9 (total quay length 1058 m / 3470 ft). The project will result in max draft 15 m (49 ft), also in improved berth occupation rate by creating a bigger and deeper mooring area.
Maputo cruise port's season runs between November through April. In 2017, the port started construction works on a dedicated passenger terminal (completed in March 2018). Along with building the new cruise terminal, an old warehouse was transformed into a port staff dedicated facility.
Maputo cruise terminal
In March 2018 will be inaugurated a new dedicated to cruise passengers terminal.