Durban container terminal raises capacity

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Durban Container Terminal Pier 2 has increased the landside capacity of its empty containers yard by more than four times as part of efforts to reduce vessel stay, Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) said on Thursday.

This follows the introduction by the terminal of changes to the free import storage rule eight months ago to ensure that all arriving import containers are collected immediately after offloading and stacking. The new rule is an enhancement of the historical process that required a vessel to fully offload all containers before customers were notified to collect.                                                                                                                                      

Durban Terminals managing executive Earle Peters said the new rule and innovative planning were yielding results.

“Over the last eight months, stack occupancy has reduced from about 75% to 55% thanks to the new free import storage rule that notifies a customer immediately when their container is offloaded.”

He added that the benefits included a fluid yard that could accommodate more equipment to make the operation efficient. The terminal has in this period observed improved truck turnaround time, ship working hours and stack occupancy, and met all its contractual agreements with customers.                                           

DCT Pier 2 previously used a straddle carrier to receive empty containers, which could only be stacked two-high. With more space freed up, the terminal can now use empty container handlers which can stack containers six-high, and enable hauliers direct access to the vessel.

“We have not only created additional capacity, we have maximised the very capacity that we have created,” Peters said.

Innovative planning was yielding results that would set the terminal up well in the short to long term operationally, he added.

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