Wednesday, September 22, 2010

South African Container Terminals Report Cargo Levels Rising

Automotive Parts Fuel Increase
Shipping News Feature

SOUTH AFRICA - The new Ngqura container terminal, due to celebrate its first anniversary in October, handled a record 46,836 twenty foot equivalent units during August. Of this, 34.067 TEU’s, or 72%, was transhipment cargo being transported between regional ports. The remaining cargo volumes at Ngqura container terminal comprised 12% imported cargo and 16% exports.

At the neighbouring Port Elizabeth Container terminal, 36,626 TEU’s in container cargo were handled during August, up from 32,532 TEU’s during July. The figures are now approaching the record level achieved in July 2008 at 42,400 TEU’s. The August container cargo at Port Elizabeth’s container facility comprised 36% imports, 28% exports and 36% transhipments.

Ngqura’s year to date figures for the one year old terminal suggest that Transnet’s strategy of positioning the port as a major transhipment hub for Southern Africa, is working well. Year to date figures since October 2009 show the cargo mix as 58% transhipment, 22% imports and 20% exports.

Siya Mhlaluka, Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) Executive Manager for the Eastern Cape Region, said the peak season for refrigerated (reefer) cargo had also driven volumes together with the increase in market demand for automotive components which are part of the manufacturing contracts won by local OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers).

Mr Mhlaluka added: “We are pleased to have handled these high import and export volumes as TPT is committed to offering services which will enable the growth of its valued customers,”

Meanwhile Transnet’s R5.4 billion, five-year expansion programme at the Cape Town container terminal continues to transform South Africa’s second largest container facility into a modern facility that will be capable of handling nearly double its existing cargo capacity by 2012. Major dredging, deepening and refurbishment work on the second of four berths is well underway and will be completed by May 2011.

Transnet spokesman Velile Dube said the five year expansion project is one of several Transnet projects taking place within South Africa’s container sector, with the aim of creating additional capacity ahead of demand. By 2012, the capacity of the terminal will be 1.4 million TEUs, nearly double its existing 740,000 TEU capability.