Trucks line up to container terminal at Bayhead in this file picture. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency(ANA)
Trucks line up to container terminal at Bayhead in this file picture. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency(ANA)

Plans to tackle Bayhead truck gridlock and inefficiencies swings into gear

By Zainul Dawood Time of article published May 21, 2020

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Durban -  A Transnet de-congestion task team will tackle

the root causes of the Bayhead truck-related

gridlock entering the Durban harbour container

terminals. 

On Tuesday, trucks were backed up from

the container terminals entrance towards South

Coast Road. 

Port of Durban general manager Moshe Motlohi said they had created nine work-streams

to ensure improved co-ordination, planning,

operations, cargo flows and capacity at the

Durban container terminal (DCT). 

Motlohi leads a team of private and public

sector entities. He said Bayhead Road had been

plagued by congestion attributed mainly to

operational inefficiencies at the DCT. In future,

there would be more visibility from Durban

metro police. There was also a possibility of

widening Bayhead Road. 

“It affects the entire supply chain and

impacts shipping lines, the trucking fraternity

and the rail sector,” Motlohi said. 

“A key intervention was the re-introduction

by terminal operator Transnet Port Terminals

of a mandatory truck appointment system. It is

considered best practice in the container sector

globally,” he said.

Since March 27, the system has helped to

reduce waiting times. 

It enabled Transnet Port

Terminals to control the rate of collections and

deliveries and use land-side capacity optimally.

Motlohi said the port system was not synchronised in terms of hours of operation and days.

“In order for the current picture to change,

depots around the port would need to be in a

position to operate 24 hours a day, seven days

a week. They must be aligned with the operating hours of the container terminals. 

Trucks

are dispatched accordingly and cargo can be

collected even during less popular hours, such

as weekends and after hours,” he said.

Terminal inefficiencies and poor land-side

performance were being improved. 

“Challenges include the purchase of new

equipment, initiatives to address employee

morale and maintaining existing equipment to

deliver better reliability and efficiency,” he said.

Motlohi said the delivery of 23 new straddle

carriers was expected between June and July

this year. 

“We are increasing the number of gangs of

people working. DCT Pier 2 has now increased

gangs from 11 to 13 with the 14th gang undergoing training. Pier 1 has five gangs and a sixth

undergoing training.” 

They would be introducing an hourly management system where performance is monitored every hour per machine and per individual.

Truck drivers will be trained by the Transnet

Maritime School of Excellence in terms of processes, and the dos and don’ts within the port.

Daily News

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