The launch of the Musina Intermodal Terminal (MIT) by the South African Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, in June 2017 signalled the beginning of a new era of promoting regional economic integration trade through the lowering of transport costs by providing efficient intermodal and transhipment logistics solutions.
Present at the opening were senior representatives from both Government as well as private industry bodies in Zimbabwe, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo; this being clear evidence of the understanding of the strategic positioning of MIT.
Significant catalysts for the development of MIT were the designation of the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone by South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry, as well as the renewed focus on the North South Corridor, which primarily links the Port of Durban to the Copperbelt in DR Congo and Zambia, and has spurs linking the port of Dar es Salaam and the Copperbelt and Durban to Malawi.
The MIT is closely aligned with the Special Economic Zone’s strategic objectives of boosting Southern Africa’s industrialisation and manufacturing capacity through extraction and beneficiation of minerals, accelerating economic growth and development, driving increased foreign and domestic direct investment, increased value-added exports, creation of jobs, and building of industrial clusters and regional industrial hubs.
The MIT, located on the N1 National Road in Musina, and some 15 kilometers from Beitbridge Border, was established during early 2017 primarily to migrate cargo flows from road to rail, where commercially sustainable.
The MIT can currently handle up to 3 million tons per annum of cargo, both bulk and containerised, which capacity can be increased with relatively low capital investment to over 8 million tons per annum. The MIT complex comprises 4 designated areas; the Musina Station property, a concrete pad, a covered warehouse and a hardstand facility; with all 4 areas interlinked with rail lines, connecting to the Transnet Freight Rail main line; a total operational area of some 358,000m2, with 6,000m2 under cover.
The promoters of the MIT are Barberry Holdings, a leading rail logistics and materials handling company, together with two established Musina based businesses, Lionshare Holdings, a property developer, and Musina Associated Carriers, a transport and logistics company.
MIT is focused on managing rail flows in and out of the terminals, working closely with Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) and other rail authorities such as National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and Zambian Railways Limited (ZRL) to extract efficiencies from the rail system and lower the costs of logistics.
TFR is a key partner in the development of the MIT through its strategy of actively partnering with terminal operators, in this instance MIT, to design rail and intermodal supply chain solutions to migrate road volumes to rail.
MIT fully supports the similar strategies embarked upon by NRZ and ZRL, which have been widely publicised
All MIT stakeholders are committed to removing cargo from the road network and transferring it to rail transport where commercially sustainable; thereby preserving the road infrastructure and improving the level of safety for road users.
In striving to deliver both innovative and comprehensive value adding solutions to Clients, MIT has been classified as a Bonded Store.
The MIT is focused on ensuring that the most appropriate transport mode is utilised for the specific cargo types from origin to destination, and thus provides the capability and capacity to efficiently tranship cargo from one mode to another. In the short to medium term MIT is targeting to migrate some 1 million tons of cargo per annum onto rail; being mainly Southbound cargo originating in the DR Congo, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The migration of cargo from road to rail will result in reduced carbon emissions, logistics costs and road congestion; a reduction of some 62,000 vehicle trips per annum is envisaged from cross border traffic flows.
The MIT initiative will result in the creation of 150 new permanent jobs and it is envisaged that other job opportunities will be created locally when volume throughput increases.