The Durban Container Terminal (DCT) Pier 2 says it has averaged single-digit vessels at anchor over the last two weeks, having earlier ensured that all priority cargo across the retail, automotive, energy and fast-moving consumer goods sectors reached shelves at the required time.
The latest update comes after port woes last year with massive backlogs led to South Africa losing billions of rands in investment and an outcry from the business sector, galvanising urgent action.
Managing Executive at the Durban Terminals Earle Peters said in a statement on Wednesday, “We are not out of the woods, but we have exceeded our set targets of clearing the vessel backlog.”
He said DCT Pier 2 had averaged 3 681 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) every 24 hours, with a total of 55 219 TEU moved in the past two weeks alone.
Close collaboration with shipping lines and cargo owners as well as employee commitment had ensured that work continued throughout the holiday season.
Original equipment manufacturers were currently on site, providing technical support and supplying critical spares of handling equipment for repairs.
According to Peters, weather continued to disrupt operations, however, contingency plans were watertight.
“We are pursuing an aggressive recovery plan and our main focus is to relieve the pressure on our customers who rely on our service and look to us to provide much-needed value”.
The trucking community had kept the terminal fluid on the landside during this period. DCT Pier 2 continued to engage with shipping lines on the review of surcharges on import containers with improved productivity.
“We are confident that the supply chain will soon return to normality as many other processes are involved once cargo leaves the terminal,” said Peters.
The rollout of the fourth shift at the terminals since December was yielding positive results, he added.
The Durban Container Terminal Pier 2 is part of the Durban Terminals which form part of a network of 16 sea cargo and 3 inland terminals managed by Transnet Port Terminals , a division of Transnet.
DCT Pier 2 is Transnet’s biggest container terminal, handling 72% of the Port of Durban’s throughput and 46% of South Africa’s port traffic.