Port delays & containers

You may have heard or read about the problems at South African ports.

We have just had a meeting with our shipping agents and the situation at The Durban Port is not good at all.  Nobody can do a proper estimation of when we can expect the various shipments.

Our containers are under the jurisdiction of the port authorities.

We have been advised by our shipping company about the delays at Durban harbour affecting all our containers. This means that any machines or parts that have been ordered will be further delayed. As you can appreciate, we are doing everything in our power to work with the authorities to get these shipments cleared ASAP.

The delays are due to Transnet’s mismanaged chaos in our ports, which for the last 6 weeks has steadily become worse and worse. Berthing delays are currently running into two to four weeks. This is mainly due to inefficient offloading of vessels caused by equipment breakdowns, and poor weather conditions in the ports.

Transnet now hopes to clear the backlog by March next year at the latest.

Transnet’s container ports (mainly Durban and Cape Town) are among the world’s worst, scoring in the bottom 10 of the 348 ports ranked in the World Bank’s latest container port performance index. 

Transnet ports are rapidly losing market share and investment attractiveness to more efficient operators in other African coastal cities, including Djibouti, Maputo, Somalia and others.

The situation at Transnet’s ports is so bad that Maersk — a global shipping and logistics giant — has had to start offloading cargo in Mauritius to allow smaller vessels to bring the shipments to South Africa. 
It has created “Cape Town Express” — a new feeder service to reduce wait times.