Durban Car Terminal notches up historic milestone

21st April 2023 By: Irma Venter - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

The Durban Car Terminal (DCT) says it has handled more than 600 000 vehicles this financial year.

Towards the end of March, the vessel Cattleya Ace of MOL Shipping offloaded 4 025 fully built units, and then loaded 3 200 Toyota Hilux and BMW X3 models destined for Europe.

The terminal says the 600 000th unit mark is a historic achievement, “attributed to improved terminal efficiencies through a committed workforce, consistency and eased Covid-19 lockdown restrictions globally”.

The resurgent hospitality industry also stimulated local vehicle demand in the 12-month period, as the car-hire industry fleeted up ahead of the December holidays.

Car manufacturers also stocked up for the festive season.

Imports also started flowing more steadily, following an extended automotive global parts shortage in the past two years.

The DCT also saw a rise in transshipment volumes as demand for used vehicles continued to grow, especially in East and West Africa.

The DCT handled, on average, 2 100 fully built units per vessel throughout the 2022/23 financial year, ending March 31.

This performance has seen the terminal break its own monthly record on two occasions in the last 12 months, at 72 000 fully built units in April, and 77 000 units in October.

“We are constantly reinventing ourselves operationally, introducing initiatives that prioritise maximum benefit to the customer,” says Durban Terminals managing executive Earle Peters.

He says the terminal has also embarked on a number of international benchmarking exercises to improve its performance.

Following the Thailand benchmark, the DCT last year enhanced its offering through a review in yard planning, allowing for ample preloading space that ensured no vehicles were received when the vessel was already on berth.

Terminal staff also created additional waterside capacity to keep up with demand.


import and transshipment vehicles, the DCT moves 14 of the 17 models manufactured in South Africa to over 150 markets globally, with Europe, Asia and Africa the biggest customers.

Some of the models include the Toyota Hilux, Volkswagen Amarok, Ford Ranger, BMW X3 and Isuzu KB.

The DCT forms part of a network of 19 Transnet port terminals.