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 fourteen 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 served its objective. It is effectively a dry port (an international satellite port) and ideal for a landlocked country like Eswatini as it incorporates all the services associated with a sea port.

These include:

  • Handling equipment to handle from 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 staff members.

These containers are moved by road to the ICD and progress by rail to the seaport, 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 sturdier and harder surface. A reach stacker was purchased capable of stacking 5 high empties and 3 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 10, 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. MSC Logistics, 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 within The Matsapha Industrial Site.

Contact Details: For more information please contact:

Bhekisisa Manyatsi
ICD Manager
Matsapha ICD
Tel/Fax (+268) 2518 4016
Cell: (+268) 7602 9498

Eswatini Railways Building
Dzeliwe Street

Tel: +268 2411 7400
Fax: +268 2411 7499


P.O. Box 475
Kingdom of Eswatini



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