Grindrod’s dry-bulk terminal in Maputo handles a record-breaking 416220 tons of coal

Shiploader at Grindrod's Matola terminal. Photo: Supplied

Shiploader at Grindrod's Matola terminal. Photo: Supplied

Published Dec 15, 2023


JSE-listed Grindrod, a freight and logistics company, has announced record-breaking volumes handled at its terminal operations.

In November 2023, Grindrod’s dry-bulk terminal in the Main Port of Maputo achieved a remarkable milestone by handling a record-breaking 416220 tons of coal, it said in a statement yesterday.

This accomplishment highlighted the efficiency and capability of Grindrod’s team in handling sized coal, it said.

Grindrod's multipurpose terminal in the Port of Durban. Photo: Suppplied

The terminal efficiently managed 3.7 million tons of coal year-to-date, surpassing last year’s total volume of 3.2 million tons by an impressive 14%.

Grindrod’s Matola Terminal also achieved a benchmark in performance, handling 8.4 million tonnes of coal and magnetite (combined) year-to-date, breaking the 2021 record of 8.2 million tons handled and surpassing last year’s total volume of 8.1 million tons.

Pedro Poh-Quong, the general operations manager at Grindrod in Mozambique, said, “We are thrilled to announce these milestones at our dry-bulk terminal in Maputo Port and our terminal in Matola. It is a testament to our exceptional team’s dedication and hard work.”

Additionally, Grindrod’s multipurpose terminal in the Port of Durban recorded “an impressive” 259 370 tons of cargo handled in November 2023. This represented an 85% increase compared to the average volumes handled in previous months, driven largely by the global demand for lithium.

Grindrod’s multipurpose terminal handles a diverse range of products, including lithium, chrome, granite, and steel.

The team at Grindrod's Terminal in Maputo Port celebrate the record-breaking volumes handled in November 2023. Photo: Supplied

Kwazi Mabaso, the CEO of Grindrod Terminals, said, “This remarkable achievement demonstrates our preparedness to meet increasing demands. It is a result of our strong relationships with customers and stakeholders, as well as our unwavering commitment to operational excellence. I am exceptionally proud of the team’s dedication and commitment.”

Transnet woes

Grindrod is filling a gap in the market not only due to its innovation and leadership, but also due to the shortcomings of state-owned logistics firm Transnet.

Transnet’s inefficiencies in both rail and ports is hamstringing South African business, investment into the country and dampening the economy, costing it billions in lost revenue.

As a result, the government and Transnet with input from the business sector, is pushing through reforms and a turnaround plan to deal with the logistics bottlenecks that have become a national crisis.

Transnet released a statement yesterday, stating that it was reorganising key elements of the country’s rail freight ecosystem to align with the government’s evolving transport policy, and as it looked to boost private sector partnerships.

Earlier this week, Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said the Cabinet, in its last meeting for the year, considered and approved for publication the Freight Logistics Roadmap, as well as the Draft Rail Private Sector Participation Framework.

The Roadmap for the Freight Logistics System in South Africa draft document, which was published on the Department of Transport’s website, will be released for broader public consultations before returning to the Cabinet for approval

Earlier this month, the Treasury announced a R47 billion bailout for Transnet in a bid to support its recovery plan. The amount is less than half of what Transnet had requested.

Transnet swung into a loss of R5.7bn for the year ending March 2023, mainly due to inefficiencies of its rail network. It has a massive debt of R130bn with interest costs of R13bn per annum.

In a turnaround plan produced by the board, last month, Transnet asked the Treasury for a R100bn financial support package over the next two years which includes a R47bn equity injection or loan, and asked for the government to take over R61bn of the company’s debt.