Mandatory truck appointment system eases Durban port container movement

13 May 2020 | Web Article Number: ME202019041

Disaster Management
Harbour Infrastructure & Shipping
Materials Handling & Bulk Handling
Transport, Distribution & Warehousing
Mandatory truck appointment system eases Durban port container movement

TRANSNET Port Terminals implemented a mandatory truck appointment system across the Durban Container Terminals (DCT) at the onset of the national lockdown. This, it says, has resulted in a faster clearing of trucks at the port, which previously contributed to Bayhead Road traffic.

KZN Containers Acting General Manager Abubaker Badat said that although the DCT had reduced operations in line with COVID-19 standard safety and prevention measures, the terminal is currently handling the same number of trucks as during normal operating levels.

“When trucks converge at the terminal at the same time unannounced, many challenges are introduced into the system,” Badat said, adding that the appointment system was a process improvement initiative, which would continue to yield positive results post the national lockdown.

“It is gratifying to observe our stakeholders benefit from the full implementation of the truck appointment system. Like any appointment, time and required resources are reserved for each truck and we are able to match demand with supply more efficiently.”

Considered best practice in the container sector globally, a mandatory truck appointment system not only offers operational efficiency but financial value for both the terminal operator and the customer, since waiting times are reduced, Badat said.

“We have in the past, had trucks waiting for extended periods to be serviced. The use of the truck appointment system has enabled the terminal to control the rate of collections and deliveries, thereby ensuring optimal utilisation of landside capacity.

“While this process improvement initiative will yield further visible results when all road users gradually return to the new normal, parallel discussions hope to review, comprehensively, further improvements to operations at the ports and terminals. This will reduce inefficiencies in the long term,” he said.

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