Highest-ever monthly unit load handled at terminal
Eight years after opening its quays to the first visiting ships, the Ngqura Container Terminal (NCT) has recorded its highest monthly number of units ever handled, with nearly 82 000 containers passing through the Eastern Cape’s only deep water port terminal.
Having handled the recordsetting 81 927 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEU) containers through the port during last month, the Transnet Port Terminal (TPT) said yesterday the milestone boded well for the regional and national economy.
Further, it said, the remarkable volume performance came despite abnormally adverse weather conditions – which affected service delivery to clients – but also amid sluggish economic growth that was impacting both imports and exports.
“We are delighted that the terminal was able to handle this kind of volume while overcoming a number of challenges,” TPT acting terminal manager Wandisa Vazi said.
“It was really a team effort that allowed us to reach this milestone that included our staff collaborating with customers and other Transnet operating divisions.
“Our committed and highly skilled employees are always searching for different ways to improve the operational performance of the terminal and, most importantly, to meet and exceed our customers’ needs.
“The NCT terminal prides itself on delivering exceptional service by our talented workforce that is supported by state-of-the-art equipment and modern tech- nology.
“Not only is the milestone of volumes handled a credit to our committed TPT staff, but it also demonstrates our capacity and readiness to handle greater volumes.
“Of the record volumes handled, 19% were imports, 18% were exports and 63% were transshipments.
“This volume split also creates confidence in the transshipment strategy, which has seen the majority of volumes being transshipped for the month.”
Commenting on the achievement, TPT’s general manager, Eastern Cape Terminals, Siya Mhlaluka said: “We are grateful for the support that our customers and stakeholders have afforded us.
“It further cements the shared vision of both TPT and customers to growing volumes whenever an opportunity presents itself.
“We are also encouraged by the increase in the transshipment volumes which is testament to the fact that Ngqura Container Terminal is ideally positioned to service the east and west markets.”
Since the start of operations in 2009, the NCT has complemented the South African port system as a transhipment hub and played a significant role in increasing South Africa’s international trade, while generating employment in the economy and promoting international trade for South African Development Community countries.
Throughput at Nelson Mandela Bay’s second port is expected to increase through next year when Chinese investor BAIC starts production at a multibillion- rand vehicle production plant, currently under construction in the Coega Special Economic Zone.