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Transnet moving to reefer container train to ease traffic congestion at Cape Town port

The container terminal building in the Port of Cape Town. File photo: ANA

The container terminal building in the Port of Cape Town. File photo: ANA

Published Feb 6, 2021


Cape Town - Transnet is implementing a strategy to move containers by rail instead of by road to ease traffic congestion related to the Cape Town container terminal.

In a bid to improve efficiencies at the Cape Town container terminal, Transnet has successfully piloted an inland operation that will see the haulage of reefer containers by rail from Belcon inland terminal in Bellville to the port, Transnet spokesman Ayanda Shezi said in a statement.

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"The collaboration between two Transnet operating divisions - port terminals and freight rail - supports the company’s strategy for a modal shift from road to rail, and introduces much-needed improvements in the entire supply chain," Shezi said.

The initiative would bring about much-needed relief on the roads, move goods more efficiently to the ports, and reduce the cost of doing business.

Through the pilot project with one of Transnet’s customers, 20 containers were hauled on Friday morning with the aim to gradually increase this with more uptake from reefer container customers and cargo owners.

The Belcon inland terminal, where reefer containers would be loaded and hauled to the terminal, was located about 20km from Cape Town. Unlike a truck, which carried one reefer container per trip, one train had the capacity to carry up to 36 containers at a time, Shezi said.

The inland operation was one of the projects earmarked for implementation as a response to both community and customer concerns over traffic in the vicinity.

Transnet would continue to work with customers and other stakeholders in improving efficiencies in the system and supporting the reliable delivery of freight, Shezi said.

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- African News Agency (ANA), editing by Jacques Keet

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