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            december 10, 2019

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South African ports see cargo volumes rising


South Africa's container terminals handled a total of 4.8 million TEU in 2018, an increase of 5.3 per cent over the previous year.
The Port of Durban, which has the premier container terminal in sub-Saharan Africa, finished with a throughput of 2.98million TEU - up from the 2.70 million TEU in 2017. That's an increase of 276,000 TEU for the year or just over 10 per cent, which will prove very encouraging to its operator, Transnet Port Terminals (TPT).
Total cargo throughput involving all products for Durban was 83.16 million tonnes, up from the 78.11 million tonnes in 2017 (an increase of 6.47 per cent). Nationally the figures were 294.29 million tonnes, an increase of 1.33 per cent on the 290.43 million tonnes in 2017.
The number of ships arriving in the country's ports continues to decline, although this is not reflective of declining cargo volumes but of the use of much larger ships, in particular container vessels.
Nationally the number of ship calls in South African ports declined to 9,202, down from 9,821 in 2017. As recently as in 2014 and 2015 the total for all ports was over 12,000 ships.
In Durban, the number of ship calls has dropped to 3,061 ships in 2018, compared to 3,323 vessel calls in 2017.
The port of Richards Bay, described as an export port and in that sense of great value to South Africa, saw port volumes increased to 103.55 million tonnes, up from 99.98 million tonnes in 2017 - an extra 3.57 million tonnes or an increase 3.56 per cent. This was despite the volume of coal being exported through Richards Bay Coal Terminal last year having been 3 million tonnes lower than in 2017 at 73.47 million tonnes, the Mercury of Cape Town reported.

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