Transnet has announced the completion of a more than $56 million expansion at the City Deep Container Terminal in Johannesburg as the company steps up its drive to move rail-friendly cargo off South Africa’s roads.
The investment doubled capacity to 400,000 TEU per annum, confirming City Deep’s status as Africa’s biggest inland port.
The upgrade included the replacement of all container-handling equipment, including rail-mounted gantry cranes, reach stackers and container handlers, as well as the installation of a Navis terminal operating system.
Siyabonga Gama, CEO of Transnet, led the celebration which was attended by hundreds of employees from the terminal, as well as customers and suppliers.
Siyabonga Gama said: “Over the last couple of years, we have been growing this business at levels several times higher than economic growth rates.
“As a result of these improvements, we can now offer our customers a vastly improved service – thanks to our reliable and efficient new equipment.
“Because of the additional stacking capacity, we are able to tailor-make and customise storage solutions for our big volume customers – especially fast-moving consumer goods.”
The City Deep Container Terminal, which is operated by Transnet Freight Rail, handles around 60% of container volumes from the ports of Cape Town, Durban and Ngqura, in and out of Gauteng.
The terminal also functions as an interchange for traffic destined for inland provinces and neighbouring countries.
Mr Gama said: “Traffic management for trucks in and out of the terminal has improved significantly, reducing turnaround times for our customers. The terminal can now accommodate both 12 and 6-metre containers – this is a key requirement for our customers in our neighbouring countries. These need not be on road anymore.”
Transnet’s road-to-rail strategy is a key element of the Market Demand Strategy (MDS). So far, the company has spent more than $7.6 billion in its rail, ports and pipelines infrastructure.
Mr Gama concluded: “Our commitment to moving cargo off our roads onto rail goes beyond Transnet. It is a key national imperative with immeasurable benefits for the environment and the economy, including cost, lower emissions and congestion on our roads and safety.”
Fact File: The City Deep container terminal was established in 1977. It is the largest inland terminal in Africa and fifth-largest in the world. The terminal operates daily, for 24 hours. It employs 223 people.