Durban Car Terminal hits a high gear to achieve a new milestone

22 May 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201914634

Automotive
Government & Municipal
Harbour Infrastructure & Shipping
Import / Export

THE Durban Car Terminal broke a South African record, handling over half a million fully built units (FBU) in the 2018/19 financial year.

According to Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) General Manager for Bulk, Break Bulk and Car Operations Amanda Siyengo, “a combination of a shift in the operating model, improved planning, dedicated operational teams and collaboration with customers and shipping lines have seen the terminal exceed its annual average of 480 000 FBU”.

This has resulted in the terminal handling 510 936 FBU which comprises of passenger, commercial, static mafi cargo and high and heavy vehicles.

Durban Car Terminal hits a high gear to achieve a new milestone

The terminal had undergone an operating model change which entailed taking over the outsourced driving service function so that it was handled internally. Siyengo added that this had not been an easy task, commending terminal management on and improving efficiencies such as units handled per hour with and ship working hours

“Facilitating seamless logistics planning and operational execution for original equipment manufacturers plus collaboration with shipping lines is critical in eliminating bottlenecks and ensuring that automotive exports and imports are handled efficiently for the South African economy,” said Siyengo.

The Durban Car Terminal is also focusing on creating more storage capacity to meet the industry demand, driving a high-performance culture and being innovative in solutions it provides. Introducing the automated service instruction entry (SIE) to over 100 customers, supply chain partners and various other stakeholders is “work in progress”, improving the SARS clearance process from 72 to 24 hours.

There have also been significant investments in the SA automotive sector that supported higher production capacity which led to better than expected export volumes countrywide.

The Department of Trade and Industry’s Automotive Production and Development Plan incentivizing the industry for increasing local content from 38% to 60% ex-factory price, has also played a significant role in increased numbers after its introduction in 2013. SA’s motor industry currently builds about 600 000 vehicles per annum, which is 0.7% of the global consumption.

The government would like to see this grow to about 1% in 2035 when the SA Automotive Masterplan expires.

South Africa, through TPT’s Durban Car Terminal, is the single largest car terminal in Africa. They have previously created a web-based, general cargo operating system called GCOS which enhances security of break bulk cargo and automotive, offering simple user interface and greater data integrity compared to the old manual method.

GCOS is a commercial product that some of the West African terminals are already utilising, including the Port of Cotonou in Benin.

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