South Africa: Cape Town Port Fully Operational After Delays In Container Offloads

Container ships in Cape Town harbour (file photo).
1 December 2023

Cape Town — Operations have returned to normal at the Port of Cape Town after reported delays experienced in the past two weeks.

A presentation by Western Cape Finance MEC Mireille Wenger last week reportedly stated that vessels were experiencing delays of between 12 and 14 days. Some vessels have been bypassing Cape Town port due to the port's under-performance. Shipping giant Maersk had its vessels sail to Mauritius for smaller consignments of containers to be offloaded and shipped to Cape Town to avoid the delays.

However, Western Cape Transnet Port Terminals managing executive Andiswa Dlanga said that as of Tuesday, November 26, the backlog had been cleared after the introduction of more equipment into the system.

There are still delays in loading and offloading of containers at Durban and Richards Bay ports. The delays are costing the economy up to U.S.$6 million per day, according to the South African Freight Forwarders Association. The crisis has seen President Cyril Ramaphosa and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan visit the Richards Bay port on November 23, 2023 where the president received a briefing from Transnet leadership on the current challenges at the port and the interventions under way to reduce congestion and improve efficiency, a government statement said.

Transnet says its Cape Town Port is ready to handle shipments delayed by the crisis at the port in Richards Bay.

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