Manica’s history begins in 1849 and the company is one of the few organizations that have persisted since then, facing multiple challenges over three centuries of development. From the beginning of its activities, Manica has continuously strengthened its competitiveness in the market and it is a reference of excellence in the market of shipping and freight services, both in Central and Southern Africa.
Dedication in building a company of excellence, precursor of a vision of greater ambition, has led Manica to be involved in several relevant moments in Mozambican history and in the industry’s history.
Our company is directly involved in structuring and construction of the “hinterland” railways and of Mozambican ports, and is intimately linked to the history of Beira City – the place of its manifesto and evolution – for which the port activity was fundamental for the economic and social development. Even today, Manica has one of the most iconic and architecturally magnetic buildings, Casa Infante de Sagres, built in 1930. It has emerged as a hope of rebuilding the city after the war, in honour of Prince Henrique the Navigator (1394-1460), pioneer and initiator of the great age of discoveries and of the development of the navigation art.
The founders of the organization, Julius Altson and Joseph van Praagh, played a key role in the current positioning of Manica due to their innovative spirit and to their risk approach. They worked without any compensation for the first 20 years, a clear reflection of their commitment to the vision and mission of the company and of their relentless confidence in the future.
The first business relied on the import of all kinds of goods and on the establishment of business relations with a large number of shipping agencies. Its business stability, however, firmed its position in the years of the two World Wars, during which the situation was completely unfavourable to business expansion. The first great moment of consolidation took place during the 1st World War, both in Beira and in Southern Africa, through the increase of exports of goods – chrome, minerals, sugar, maize, cotton and rubber – from Africa to Europe.
In the years between both World Wars, Manica spread its business network to Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, as well as to the Atlantic coast of the continent.
In 1927, in the verge of a new depression context that erupted in 1929 and brought down the economy, Manica managed to close a contract deal for freight services of vast quantities of tobacco. Its prominence in the transport of tobacco along with the new challenge of air services led the company to enter the business of travel services, a service requested by many of Manica’s customers. Increased activity resulted in the opening of a travel agency, a relevant element in the organization’s portfolio.
The 2nd World War increased the geographic importance of Beira City due to the request of increase of valuable goods for war adversities – minerals, tea, and tobacco. In this context, the number and type of goods increased considerably, opening up new business opportunities.
In the 50s, the geographic universe of the company’s operations covered the entire region of Southern Africa, and Manica was involved in exports to destinies such as Europe, Venezuela and Japan. Regardless of economic situation, Manica proved its stability and determination to prevail its objectives, values and efforts to contribute to the development of the country and of the region.
Manica’s pioneer and entrepreneur spirit impelled its participation in several mergers and acquisitions, making it co-founder of various international organizations. In November 2000, Manica went through a profound structural change, as part of a regional initiative, and became a totally Mozambican company. This merger came to claim the importance given by the company to the local context, as it always proudly took into consideration the Mozambican traditions, habits and trends and combined them with world-class solutions.
Manica is the first Mozambican company to be proud to be awarded by the acknowledged SABS ISO 9002: 1994 regarding the International Freight Service, under the operation of ships, international shipping, maritime services and warehousing. Since then, there have been two updates, first to SABS ISO 9001: 2000 and, subsequently, to SABS ISO 9001: 2008.
Manica is a member of the acknowledged Multiport, the world’s largest network of maritime industry operations, whose team ensures high standards of professionalism, integrity and quality in services provided.
Manica aims to maintain its position as leader of the transport, loading and logistics market, and to exceed expectations of services in the industry through continuous development of the company. All our efforts, from investment in more recent technologies to support provided to our human capital and respective training, are directed towards full satisfaction of our customers and to ensure our service has the highest quality on the market.
We believe that a long-term vision complies with our company’s ambition and our objectives follow four equally important directions – constant improvement of our customer’s service, maintenance of organization’s internal environment, guarantee of growth of profits, and commitment and investment for a sustainable future of the African continent.
Our focus rests on structuring strategies that follow the development and opportunities of the market and that allow the provision of highly competent services in matters of transport and logistics, both national and internationally.
Each objective outlined by Manica represents a fundamental basis for our corporate success and we aim to achieve each of those goals through a multifaceted approach that is also faithful to our values. The adaptation to market demands and to customers’ expectations, the appreciation of our human, financial and technological resources and the strategic locations on main trade centres in the Southern and Central regions of Africa are crucial points in our plan of actions.
Our organizational culture is constantly evolving in order to reach a lasting corporate practice, in which the business strategies are aligned with the values defended by Manica. These values were established throughout the company’s development and, today, these represent the pillars of our corporate identity. It is our belief that these are critical in relations with our stakeholders and that these have a very important weight as a reflection of our leadership