Port of Durban Regains Operations After Storm


Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), the operator of the largest port in South Africa, has reported that its marine operations have partially resumed following disruptions caused the Durban Storm on October 10, 2017.

TNPA has so far declared that 80% of the navigable area of the port is safe for marine operations after a survey showed that there was “some obstruction” on the seabed that could pose a risk to navigation.

The severe storm has caused at least eight deaths in the province after torrential rains and gale force winds pulled roofs off homes in the coastal region.

[Video]: Tugs had to come to the rescue of the 340-metre long MSC Ines containership when it became grounded and blocked the Durban harbour mouth during the storm.

Shulami Qalinge, TNPA Chief Executive, said: “We are extremely appreciative of the excellent collaboration between TNPA and various stakeholders who acted quickly and efficiently to partially restore normality at the port.

“Our immediate focus is to continue with the implementation of the recovery operations.”

In a statement made on October 11, 2017, the port said that its Business Continuity Plan (BCP) would still be in place until TNPA has “restored normality”.

It said: “At this stage, Durban marine operations are anticipated to resume by midday tomorrow, pending the outcome of the sounding surveys.”

South Africa’s Sunday Times reported that all marine operations at the port have resumed, but that the storm has damaged some cargo handling equipment at the Durban Container Terminal Pier 1 and Pier 2 and in the Bulk‚ Break-bulk and Car Durban Terminal.

It also stated that eight ship-to-shore cranes had been damaged and that buildings and infrastructure in and around the port were also affected‚ including containers‚ vehicles and park home offices.

Port Technology has contacted the port for an update on its operational situation.

Read more: A drone captured the moment the 366-metre CSCL Jupiter containership ran aground on the banks of the river Scheldt on August 14, 2017, while sailing from Antwerp to Hamburg

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