12 March 2004
The South African Port Operations – a division of parastatal Transnet – has introduced a state-of-the-art technology at the Cape Town container terminal to improve and manage capacity at the facility.
Nad Govender, the general manager of operations in the Western Cape, said SAPO will acquire four new Kalmar straddle carriers to handle the increase in the number of container traffic at the port.
The port of Cape Town provides services for containers as well as general cargo port callers.
The port handles cargo from the Americas, Africa, Oceania, Asia, and Europe.
Govender said SAPO had reclaimed a portion of the port to cater for the influx of containers into the harbour.
The four berths at the port, which were at different levels, create problems for arriving vessels, Govender said, adding that the six cranes at the harbour, which differed in size, were also inadequate to cater for the increased movement of cargo.
He said the Port of Cape Town has six cranes in the terminal, four of which are 25 years old, the other two eight years old.
Govender said SAPO will buy eight new Super Panamax ship-to-shore gantry cranes over a six-year period.
“Four of these will replace the existing Demag cranes and the other four will add to the Container Gantry cranes.
“We have reclaimed a portion and created additional capacity for containers, which has given us the capacity to handle the volume,” he said.
The port operator has invested R23-million for new straddle carriers, which will increase the current fleet from 23 to 27.
“This will increase the throughput capacity of the terminal by allowing us to stack containers higher,” Govender said.
He added that SAPO had installed 404 additional reefer points to accommodate the growth in refrigerated container cargo, and was also in the process of installing remote reefer monitoring and control systems to improve service delivery.
In the 2004/2005 financial year the terminal is expected to handle 480 000 TEU containers, representing a 3.5 percent increase on the previous year’s volumes.
Govender added that this growth will continue.