Steps being taken to improve turnaround at DCT Pier 2 ahead of the citrus season

19th January 2024 By: Schalk Burger - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

Steps being taken to improve turnaround at DCT Pier 2 ahead of the citrus season

The Durban Container Terminal (DCT) Pier 2 is prioritising fluid terminal operations ahead of South Africa’s citrus season, and the terminal is providing a rail link solution for its customers’ import containers to a back-of-port facility 7 km from the terminal as a means of reducing the number of trucks entering the terminal.

Since the beginning of January, customers have been collecting their containers at the back-of-port facility with minimal waiting times and flowing roads in the vicinity. The back-of-port initiative is aimed at clearing terminal stacks much quicker, which will, in turn, encourage improved vessel turnaround time with created capacity, State-owned Transnet Port Terminals Durban Terminals managing executive Earle Peters says.

“It has always been important how we handle both waterside and landside traffic, hence our fruitful collaboration with both shipping lines and truckers,” he comments.

There were fewer trucks queuing for collections at the terminal, allowing for optimum performance into the citrus season.

Preparations include anticipating an influx of empty refrigerated containers arriving in South Africa for packing. The terminal is also optimising the 109 A empty stack to ensure punctual delivery of these containers to various packing houses, Peters points out.

Further, he says the DCT Pier 2 has averaged 3 896 twenty-foot equivalent units per 24-hour period during the past week.

The terminal has employed various initiatives to clear the vessel backlog, which included having on-site original-equipment manufacturers for technical support, additional human resources and maintenance around the clock, public holiday workings, customer and stakeholder collaboration, Navis container management system optimisation experts on site and the execution of the recovery plan.

“We are in the process of scheduling customer engagements that aid our 2024 planning. There have been a lot of learnings throughout this experience, and we ought to ensure we never find ourselves in the same situation as we did in October 2023,” Peters said.

DCT Pier 2 continues to average single-digit vessels at anchor, he notes.