Containerised Cargo

The worldwide growth of containerization as a mode of transporting goods and the expansion of Eswatini’s export industries made the establishment of an inland container depot a logical development.

Following a feasibility study which took place in 1988 under the auspices of SADCC, the Matsapha Inland Clearance Depot (ICD) was established in April 1993 at Matsapha Industrial Site. It has been operating for 27 years.

The objective was to meet the needs of importers and exporters which included streamlined services that are both time and cost sensitive. It also aimed to broaden Eswatini Railways’s revenue base.

The depot has effectively served its objective as a dry port (an international satellite port) ideal for a landlocked country which is Eswatini as it incorporates all the services associated with a sea port.

These include:

  • Container stuffing & destuffing.
  • Handling equipment to handle for 3m, 6m, & 12m containers.
  • Road trailers and vehicles to run a door to door service to clients.
  • Customs clearance facilities, enabling the issue of through bills of lading between overseas origins/destinations and Eswatini.
  • Computerized tracking of containers.
  • And temporary storage of containers.

This is augmented by a dedicated team of personnel plus equipment.

These containers are moved by road to the ICD and progress by rail to the seaports, from where they are transferred to ships.

Over years container traffic increased quite rapidly. In order to continue running the ICD efficiently it became pertinent to upgrade its infrastructure and facilities.

In 2002 the stacking area of the ICD was upgraded to a more sturdier and harder surface. A reach stacker was purchased capable of stacking 4 high empties and 5 high loaded with a safe working load (SWL) of 45 tonnes. This made the ICD safer, allowed easier and more effective movement of traffic which has become critical in the ICD’s daily operations.

From initial container traffic growth of an average of 2500 TEUs per annum (pre 2002) to an average of 15, 000 TEUs per annum the growth has been substantial. The rapidity of the growth in traffic has deemed the current stacking area small already.

To further serve clients the following additional on-site services are available:

  • Port Charges are collected by Eswatini Railways on behalf of South African Port Operations (SAPO)
  • Customs offices for clearance of goods are located within Eswatini Railways Matsapha premises.
  • Shipping lines Agents e.g. Safmarine, and others are accommodated in the same station building with Eswatini Railways administration personnel.
  • Some Clearing and Forwarding Agents have offices within Eswatini Railways premises and others are in close proximity within The Matsapha Industrial Site.

Contact Details: For more information please contact:

Mr Gift Mngomezulu

ICD Manager

Cell: (+268) 7602 9040

Tel/Fax: (+268) 2518 4016


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