The Cape Town Container Terminal has recruited a total of 62 new employees and increased the number of hauliers available to operations from 32 to 44 with the peaking of the deciduous season this month.
To date, CTCT has recorded a 14% decline in deciduous fruit volumes compared to last season, and this has since created industry concern as inclement weather of windspeeds up to 100 knots per hour persist. Acting Western Cape Managing Executive Oscar Borchards said, “Weather is not our only problem but, it really sets us back as we have to close the terminal for extended periods. As such, out of the seven rubber-tired gantry cranes, which were delivered in December, three have been handed to Operations so far”. He added that the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Kone Cranes was onsite supporting the technical team, with another three RTGs undergoing final testing before handover to operations.
Training was still underway for some of the new operators of lifting equipment, with 26 having completed so far. To date, the Cape Town Container Terminal has handled a total of 113,966 twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) units of reefer containers exported to the European Union countries, including Asia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. According to Borchards, it is not uncommon for the team to take advantage of good weather when the opportunity comes, and all required resources are available. “There are pockets of excellence here and there and performance records broken. However, it’s consistency that we need to focus on,” he said. Last week, the team has recorded performance of over 1 950 TEUs over 24 hours against a daily target of 1700 TEUs.
The terminal continues with its industry engagements and shares regular customer communication to ensure transparency. A 24–hour command centre has been set up specifically to facilitate business continuity despite a total of 202 hours lost to wind this month. The terminal is closely monitoring its equipment ramp-up plan, with 25 RTGs in operation. By the first week of February, the terminal will operate a total of 29 RTGs. This is following recent confinement agreements with OEMs that have reduced lead times for sourcing critical spares.