The Port of Cape Town has been ranked at the bottom of the list that assessed global container port performance. Picture: Armand Hough, ANA.
The Port of Cape Town has been ranked at the bottom of the list that assessed global container port performance. Picture: Armand Hough, ANA.

Port of Cape Town is bottom of World Bank’s ranking on container port performance

By Dieketseng Maleke Time of article published May 27, 2021

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The Port of Cape Town has been ranked at the bottom of the list that assessed global container port performance. The port was listed at position 347 out of 351.

According to the information contained in the World Bank’s report titled The Container Port Performance Index 2020, Cape town ranked lower than other ports in Africa. The port is less efficient than Djibouti, Abidjan, Beira, Maputo, Walvis Bay, Dar es Salam and Mombasa.

The report also stated that while Cape Town’s port was ranked as the top-performing port in the country, this is not a reflection of success.

The report added container ports including Durban rated 349, Gqeberha listed at 348, and Ngqura rated at 351, were at the lower end of the list.

The Port of Cape Town, which is situated in Table Bay, is one of the busiest ports in the country because it is on the busiest trade routes.

Western Cape Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities David Maynier, said in a statement that while the port was an important channel for exports and imports, it continued to have severe congestion issues, citing ageing infrastructure and equipment, staffing shortages, and weather disruptions.

“The result is that vessels have been bypassing the Port of Cape Town or have been waiting up to seven days before they can berth. That impacts businesses across the entire port logistics supply chain who experience significant delays and financial losses,” Maynier said.

“In the end, our terminals at the Port of Cape Town are simply unable to service the volume of cargo that can potentially flow through Cape Town. And we are aware of the frustration and often the anger of the exporters and importers in the Western Cape,” Maynier added.

Maynier said the province established a port task team to find solutions to the challenges faced by the Port of Cape Town.

“While this Task Team has achieved several successes to date, improving port efficiency will ultimately require an intervention by the national government which is why we have called on President Ramaphosa to urgently visit the Port of Cape Town,” he said.

“As the fifth largest African exporter of agricultural goods and the exporter of 40% of South Africa’s agriculture and agri-processing products, we are starting from a strong position. Even during a challenging 2020, agricultural exports saw significant growth, increasing by 23.8% to a value of R77.14 billion,” he added.

Maynier added that to become the most competitive region in Africa, the port needs to be competitive.

“We remain committed to building strong partnerships with all the stakeholders invested in the Port of Cape Town so that we can work together to find solutions to the challenges we face, and we can ensure that the port reaches its full potential,” he said.

Last week, the province’s member of the executive council for agriculture, Ivan Meyer, said continued inefficiencies at the Port of Cape Town could hurt agricultural exports and the economy of the Western Cape in general.

Meyer said a shortage of equipment, as well as the use of obsolete equipment, highlighted the port authority’s inability to manage the Cape Town terminal efficiently.

In a statement, Meyer said the Western Cape was responsible for 50 percent of the country’s agricultural exports, and the port was a vital cog in the wheel of the provincial and national economy.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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