Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency
Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency

Port of Cape Town on track to reduce shipping backlogs due to Covid-19

By Mwangi Githathu Time of article published Aug 3, 2020

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Cape Town - Sustained improvements in the running of the Port of Cape Town mean that main shipping lines could possibly reinstall calls to Cape Town by the second week of August, Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier has said.

“Through ongoing engagements between ourselves and the Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) management, we have in recent weeks seen some welcome developments since Velile Dube was appointed as the new CEO of TPT,” said Maynier.

“If this performance is sustained during next week and beyond, it would mean that the main shipping lines could possibly reinstall calls to Cape Town by the second week of August.

“I look forward to engaging with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and the Transnet management team to implement the permanent structural changes needed to make the Port of Cape Town a globally competitive port.”

Cape Town Port manager Mpumi Dweba-Kwetana said the port now had all of its marine crew back on duty and continued to ramp up operations and reduce shipping backlogs caused by the impact of Covid-19.

“By July 30, volumes had increased, container terminal performance had improved and only one container vessel was at outer anchorage, reduced from nine vessels just two days earlier. The average waiting time at anchorage for container vessels had been reduced to four days by July 28, and by July 30 there was only one vessel at anchorage and one on the horizon. The operators from Durban returned to KZN on July 29 and the terminal will maintain the six-gang operation now that Cape Town employees are back at work.

Preparations to introduce a seventh gang in time for the reefer season are under way,” said Kwetana.

David McCallum of shipping agency DAL said he appreciated the reduction in vessels waiting at anchorage.

Cape Argus

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