Mozambique - Country Commercial Guide

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2022-11-30


The development of oil and gas projects and the economic growth of neighboring countries will drive the transportation sector in Mozambique. All major ports are being expanded or upgraded, new roads and rail lines are required, the local airline needs to expand its fleet, and new airline operators are expected to enter the market in the next few years.

Mozambique is divided into three development corridors that link its ports to inland parts and neighboring countries: the Maputo Corridor (south; linked with South Africa and Eswatini), the Beira Corridor (center; linked with Zimbabwe), and the Nacala Corridor (north; linked with Malawi and Zambia). These corridors include multiple transport logistics subsector and industrial developments.


Mozambique has one national airline, named Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (LAM) and operating as LAM Mozambique Airlines. It held a monopoly on domestic flights for decades until 2017. LAM is poorly funded and requires upgrades in almost every aspect. Its fleet is limited to three current aircraft – two Boeing 737-700 aircraft and one De Havilland Canada DHC-8-400 – with an additional DHC-8-400 to be delivered. The market has since been liberalized though with high barrier to entry. Domestic routes have since been awarded to two additional companies. The domestic aviation sector could hold large growth potential as Mozambique attracts foreign investors and strives to become a tourist destination. The oil & gas, mining, and tourism sectors are the drivers for private charter airline services, creating potential demand for air transport related goods and services for both cargo and passenger operations.

The aviation segment has been heavily affected by pandemic-related travel restrictions. Airplane scheduled maintenance is conducted in South Africa, so there is minimal need for parts and maintenance services in country.

It is also important to note that there are no regulations for commercial drone usage. However, business can submit permit requests to the National Aviation Institute (IACM) on a project-by-project basis.

Mozambique has direct flights to Angola, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Qatar, Turkey, Portugal, and South Africa, and SA Airlink recently announced a direct flight from Maputo to Cape Town. South African Airways, Ethiopian and Kenyan Airways also have international flights to other Mozambican provincial capitals.


The major commercial ports are in Maputo, Beira, Nacala, and Pemba. Port operators can be allocated long-term operating concessions by the state. Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM), the state-owned port and rail company, has a stake in all port concessions. Major local ports are connected by rail and road to inland countries and mining regions. Malawi, Eswatini, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe all rely on Mozambican ports for part of their exports and imports.

The largest and most developed port is the Port of Maputo, which is operated by the Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC), a joint venture between CFM and Dubai Port World. MPDC announced plans to invest $750 million to boost handling capacity to an annual 48 million tons a year by 2033.

The second-largest port, Beira, completed significant upgrades over the past decade and is Zimbabwe’s main port of entry to the world market. This port has seen increased exports during the pandemic and expects to expand its capacity. Cornelder de Moçambique, a partnership between CFM and Dutch company Cornhelder, is the port operator.

The third-largest port is a natural deep-water port in Nacala, which is operated by CFM. It has recently been renovated with the help of Japanese International Cooperation Agency and is due to expand its operations to accommodate more containers and refrigerated cargo. Nacala Port could also become a logistics port for the oil and gas industry. The adjacent Nacala-a-Velha Port is a large coal terminal operated recently sold by Vale Moçambique to Vulcan. Nacala Port also services Zambia’s and Malawi’s exports and imports.

Further north, the ports of Pemba and Palma are expected to become key servicing and logistics ports for the oil and gas industry.


The rail network in Mozambique is comprised of east-west routes running from South Africa to the Port of Maputo, from Zimbabwe to the Port of Beira, and from Zambia/Malawi to the Port of Nacala. There is no north-south rail route in the country.

CFM is under pressure to modernize rail lines to improve safety and cargo capacity but is struggling to meet this demand due to a lack of financing capacity and technological know-how. CFM could welcome private rail operators to develop rail projects as part of joint ventures. Further opportunities exist for passenger rail services, particularly for commuter trains and metro lines in the capital city.

On July 3, 2022, CFM and South Africa’s Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) agreed that trains should circulate unimpeded in both countries. Minister of Transport and Communications Mateus Magala and CFM Chairman of the Board of Directors Miguel Matabel stated that the move would reducing operating costs and improve cargo flows at the Port of Maputo, where the government expected goods handling to increase from the 48 million tons registered in 2021 to 83 million tons by 2024 and could potentially reduce the amount of cargo currently transported by road via the N4. CFM trains will travel to the Belfast area of South Africa, while TFR trains will travel to the Port of Maputo.

Road Freight

Road freight is the main form of domestic transportation. However, the road infrastructure is very poor and fragmented. National roads in the center and north of the country have historically been vulnerable to armed attacks by guerilla groups in central Mozambique and more recently by Islamic insurgents in the north. The occupation of Mocímboa da Praia town and port in Cabo Delgado Province by violent extremists since August 2020 has blocked the main north-south paved road to Palma district and led to widespread transportation disruption in the north of the province. There is one major road, the EN1, linking the north and south of the country. Other primary routes are along transport corridors – largely running east/west in parallel to the rail links described earlier. There are no trucking companies that cover the entire country.

Leading Sub-Sectors


  • Airline management software
  • Ground support equipment
  • Cargo handling and logistics equipment
  • Airport security systems
  • Radio communication systems
  • Program based air transport services


  • Automation equipment
  • Port related machinery
  • Port servicing vessels – cabotage vessels and tugboats
  • Security and safety equipment and training
  • Port infrastructure


  • Intermodal freight rail technologies
  • Rail maintenance equipment
  • Trains and cargo wagons


Private aircraft operators and air services could see new opportunities once the gas projects in Cabo Delgado Province resume. Given that new ports are being built and existing ports are expanding, there are opportunities for port infrastructure related exports. The Ministry of Transport and Communications has called on the private sector to invest in cabotage services and equipment. The new interoperability between CFM and Transnet could create opportunities for rail repair and maintenance and intermodal transportation technologies.