Port of Cape Town says it is back up to 70% capacity
As lockdown regulations are loosened, the upside is that more businesses can get back to work. The downside is that if their operation relies on the City’s port to shift their product, they become part of a lockdown backlog which has the busy Transnet facility running at far less than full capacity.
But on Tuesday, Transnet issued a statement saying they were taking various steps, including boosting their numbers to help get back up to speed.
Oscar Borchards, Acting Terminal Manager at the Port of Cape Town talks to Refilwe Moloto about new measures they are implementing to get back to full capacity after a backlog caused by the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
Borchards acknowledges that at the start of lockdown at the end of March the port was operating at only 40% capacity.
We dropped down to 40% yes, but we have steadily increased to 60% and right now we are operating at 70%.Oscar Borchards, Acting Terminal Manager - Port of Cape Town
The reason for the lower capacity has been caused mostly by staff becoming infected with Covid-19, he says.
It is predominantly illnesses heavily affected by the coronavirus.Oscar Borchards, Acting Terminal Manager - Port of Cape Town
Borchards says they have stringent safety measures at the workplace which include social distancing, separating staff facilities, and raising awareness.
How is the port addressing the backlogs?
The port is implementing special measures to alleviate the backlog which has resulted in cargo sitting on ships for weeks at ta time.
It needed is to strongly collaborate with our customers, planning more effectively.Oscar Borchards, Acting Terminal Manager - Port of Cape Town
The port has also worked more closely with marine operations to reduce downtime for berthing and unberthing vessels.
They have also embarked on a recruitment programme and stepped up training, he adds.
We are on the verge of reintroducing equipment as well this month.Oscar Borchards, Acting Terminal Manager - Port of Cape Town
Our want to thank our staff, our heroes, who despite the virus, came in and left their families at home to come and work at the frontline.Oscar Borchards, Acting Terminal Manager - Port of Cape Town
Transnet Durban deployed 20 staff to go to Cape Town harbour to assist.
They came down on Sunday and started working yesterday, so thank you to them, heroes who left their families behind to come and assist.Oscar Borchards, Acting Terminal Manager - Port of Cape Town
Fruit exports are a major concern currently he says as it is fruit export season.
Teams have been increased to five to help clear the backlog but agree they still have 30% capacity to increase before they are 100% operational. They are restructuring staff to become more efficient, he adds.
It is also a more flexi approach we had to understand to move cargo in and out.Oscar Borchards, Acting Terminal Manager - Port of Cape Town
Listen to the interview below: