The investment in equipment by State-owned Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) was beginning to pay off, CEO Tau Morwe said at a business-networking forum with the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday.
The entity would be spending R10,3-billion on capital expenditure over the next five years, with an emphasis on new and replacement equipment at its port terminals.
Morwe commented that underinvestment in port capacity and equipment could lead to ship and cargo congestion, such as was recently seen in Kenya and Angola.
"With the lack of infrastructure investment in Africa, specifically in the ports sector, and with the vastness of the [African] continent, we will continue experiencing problems in this area," said Morwe.
He noted that creating capacity ahead of demand would remain the focus for TPT going forward, with container growth expected to double within the next eight years.
Morwe said that the only way to create capacity was around the concept of hubbing. He added that TPT would also continue to focus on developing its corridors leading to the port terminals, as this would, from an intermodal point of view offer the right services for its customers.
Further, Morwe explained that with investment in new equipment, TPT had already been making progress in terms of container moves an hour as it had managed to keep this above 16 moves an hour for 80% of the time in the recent past.
This compared with from below 16 moves to 18 moves an hour for 81% of the time during the 2000/1 financial year. TPT was targeting 25 container moves an hour during the 2008/9 financial year.
Morwe added that TPT had also made an agreement with the shipping lines that a 16-hour delay to berth should not be exceeded.