Durban cargo rerouted due to backlog

With no immediate end in sight to the backlogs at the Durban port in the wake of devastating floods, cargo is being shifted to ports in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape. This is according to a recent report by Business Live.

Cargo is being rerouted in an effort to clear the substantial backlog in the wake of KwaZulu-Natal’s devastating floods, with some goods being moved to Ngqura near Gqeberha, and some to Cape Town.

Exporters and importers have to use alternative routes; in some cases, moving exports that had already arrived in Durban to Ngqura by road. This can cost R40,000, Grindrod CEO Andrew Waller told Business Live.

For goods still in Johannesburg, some cargo owners have decided to wait two weeks when congestion is expected to have eased, while others are transporting by road to Ngqura.

Waller said that once in Ngqura, cargo owners have to bid for slots on ships as there are many competing customers. Problems also arise due to the limited time cargo owners have to get their containers to the terminals before a ship is loaded.

Rail is not an option due to damage to the network.

Imported cargo has also built up in the container terminals, although sources told Business Live that it seems the backlog will be cleared reasonably fast.

On Tuesday, Transnet appealed to cargo owners to move imported goods out of Durban port to avoid congestion.


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