Durban - Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) celebrated a record on Wednesday as the Durban Car Terminal handled its 600 000th vehicle in a 12-month period.

The vehicle was loaded onto the vessel Cattleya Ace, for export to Europe.

TPT hailed the event as a breakthrough with the terminal having handled this number of vehicles for the first time in a 12-month period. Managing executive of Durban Terminals Earle Peters said Durban Terminals is the largest automotive terminal in Southern Africa.

“We normally handle an average of 500 000 vehicles over a 12-month period. Today we celebrate the handling of 600 000 vehicles, something we have never done before. This includes import units coming into South Africa and export units that are built in South Africa, pre-assembled, and then shipped out of South Africa.”

Peters added that during Covid-19 there was disruption in supply chains due to restrictions, as many of the components required to pre-assemble vehicles were impacted.

“It slowed production. What we found was many of the units that were supposed to come in terms of imports were back orders. As the Covid restrictions eased, it also eased the supply chains and more units could be produced for exports and more units were able to be imported.”

Peters said the 600 000th vehicle milestone was significant.

“The automotive industry contributes 4% of the GDP. As we also produce more in the country, this will result in more employment within South Africa.

“There is a significant importance to us being part of this journey to handle more units, which means more can be produced in the 12-month period. Ultimately, this will positively contribute to the economy.”

Peters added that Transnet was constantly introducing initiatives that prioritised maximum benefit to the customer.

“Benchmarking exercises the terminal embarked on internationally have also contributed to how the team performed optimally yet safely throughout the financial year.

“Strategies and plans without commitment do not succeed and this is why we are very proud of the men and women of the terminal for their demonstrated competence and willingness to delight the customer.”

Mbali Mathenjwa, executive manager: Transnet Port Terminals corporate affairs, said the Durban Car Terminal has been looking at ways to improve efficiency.

“The terminal enhanced its offering through a review in yard planning. They also created additional waterside capacity to keep up with the demand.”

Mathenjwa added that increasing volumes were also attributed to the opening up of the hospitality industry post-Covid-19.

“The car hire industry had fleeted up in anticipation of the December holidays while car manufacturers had also stocked up for festive season specials. This included a lot of import back orders after an extended automotive global parts shortage over the past two years.”

Selvan Pillay, general manager at MOL Ace South Africa, owner of the Cattleya vessel, said they were happy with the service Transnet had provided.

“Transnet’s work has been exceptional, even though there have been multiple challenges which includes the Covid-19 pandemic and the floods.”


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2023-03-23T10:14:26Z dg43tfdfdgfd