TFR and CFM have extended an agreement to transport commodities between South Africa and Mozambique.
South Africa’s Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) and Mozambique’s Caminhos De Ferros De Mocambique (CFM) have announced the extension of their agreement to run trains transporting commodities across the borders of the two countries.
TFR made the announcement on Tuesday that the historic agreement, signed in April 2023, to enable the “seamless operation” of trains between the two countries will be expanded to chrome and ferrochrome flows at three trains per day from September 1.
Previously, under the first agreement, TFR had expected to increase the number of weekly trains carrying chrome from 12 to 21, and those carrying magnetite from 17 to 28. The port of Maputo has reported a 23% increase in magnetite volumes transported for export.
The improvement in volume had been achieved despite several disruptions on the line, including the closure of the line due to security disruptions and recent derailments.
“This more efficient rail service will improve the train cycle time by approximately 23% and grow volume on rail by approximately 230,000 tons, TFR said in a statement. “The successes achieved on this route demonstrate the intrinsic value of meaningful collaboration between the two national railway operators. This gives credence to what can be achieved when railway operations are not stifled by disruptions due to incessant cable theft and the shortage of locomotives, as experienced on other major routes to the East Coast supporting the vast Mpumalanga and Limpopo minerals deposits.”
The corridor’s performance has been affected by a limited availability of locomotives, owing to the absence of maintenance contracts with suppliers and a protracted impasse over the supply of spares for locomotives supplied by CRRC of China.
In February, TFR reported that there were 356 so-called long-standing locomotives, including 164 CRRC locomotives. TFR has reached settlement agreements with its other locomotive suppliers with which it is also entering into maintenance contracts, according to the company.