State ports company South African Port Operations (SAPO) has
unveiled its new Web site, www.saponet.com, which creates a place
for the maritime industry to interact and trade online.
"In furthering our vision of being a logistics partner to the
shipping industry we developed an interactive Internet facility
that we hope will become a must-visit site and a leading source of
information for the industry," said SAPO CEO Tau Morwe at last
The site offers an on-line container track-and-trace ability; daily
stack dates and import-free storage expiry dates; an e-marketplace
for shippers, carriers, brokers and clearing and forwarding agents;
discussion forums; productivity levels and performance charts for
the various SAPO terminals; advertising space for customers and
suppliers including a classified section; a directory listing
facility for the entire port industry; and CEO announcements and
SAPO news feeds. SAPO intends to expand the Website, creating an
elite network of online business-to-business links.
As the new site will act as a hub of information providing
businesses within the shipping industry with direct access to one
another, users will need to register on-line, especially to access
container-tracking information and trade on the e-market facility.
At the moment there is no registration fee but registration is
necessary to ensure secure access to private information.
Morwe said he believed the maritime industry needed a forum where
issues relevant to it could be discussed – hence the
inclusion of a chat-room where topics will be driven by Saponet or
industry. "In the near future we will expand the site to include
our open tender board, which we believe will be of great value," he
said. He added that, with time, the site would also provide
benefits to ships' chandlers, the bunker market, maritime
insurance, legal, engineering and finance professions, stevedoring,
marine and cargo surveying and storage companies.