Port of Durban faces backlog after flood devastation

Durban Port grounds to a halt in flood aftermath

The South African Port of Durban has resumed operations after last week’s severe flooding, but a backlog of 8,000 to 9,000 containers still needs to be cleared.

The largest port in South Africa halted operations following unprecedented floods last week that killed over 400 people, left 40,000 displaced, and damaged more than 10 billion rand ($663.78 million) of infrastructure.

© World Meteorological Organization via Twitter

Public Enterprises Minister, Pravin Gordhan, said that while the port is now operational backlogs still need to be cleared and that considerable damage to the rail network linked to the port needs to be repaired.

Gordhan estimated that between 8,000 to 9,000 containers have accumulated at the Port of Durban due to logs and other debris stuck in the harbour and congestion should be cleared in the next few days.

He added that trucks could now access the port terminals, which were operating at between 60 per cent and 100 per cent capacity, and that there was no risk of fuel shortages as state logistics company Transnet’s pipeline was operational.

© David Maynier via Twitter

Over the last few days, shipping lines Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd have reported that the main road leading to Durban port was severely damaged hence closed, which led to constraints at landside operations at the terminal.

Rail operations have been highly disrupted as well and waterside operations have been interrupted last week due to electricity outages.

Maersk reported further delays across the line on 20 April and notified customers about several call omissions due to the floods.

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