Dar port soon to follow Durban as foreign investors swoop inDurban in South Africa, is the continent’s biggest port, but In recent years management has been struggling with inefficiencies in its operations which have been widely publicised.
Transnet, the South African state-owned logistics company, has chosen to partner with Philippines’ International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) in a new joint venture to run and expand Durban Container Terminal Pier 2 for the next 25-years.
Transnet Group CEO Portia Derby said early this week, “Private sector participation in Pier 2 is a key catalyst for repositioning the Port of Durban as a container hub port.”
In light of the aggressive forays being made to take up stakes in leading African logistic hubs by United Arab Emirates-based, DP World and Abu Dhabi Ports, this is a major win for ICTSI. Durban is Africa’s biggest port.
However, Abu Dhabi Ports is awaiting an imminent decision by the Tanzanian government, to award them joint management of Dar es Salaam port with India’s Adani conglomerate.
In May, the Tanzanian works and transport minister, Makame Mbarawa said, “We want the investor to meet international standards for the port to be more competitive, come up with a permanent solution on cargo shipping from point of origin to the client as well as be able to address cargo clearance challenges.”
Pier 2 handles 72% of the Port of Durban’s throughput – amount of cargo or number of vessels – and 46% of South Africa’s total port traffic. In recent years however port management has been struggling with widely publicized inefficiencies in its operations.
Transnet will own a 50% plus one share in a new company and will seek to boost its annual capacity to 11.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units from 3.3 million, it said.
According to a statement, the partnership with ICTSI will help reposition the terminal for best practice performance, ensuring growth in volume throughput, and will support the terminal in providing operational and commercial support to access global shipping line call routes.
Transnet said the agreement with ICTSI – one of six bidders for the contract – will play a significant part in stimulating exports and imports. ICTSI is headquartered in Manila, Philippines and is a publicly-listed company, traded on the Philippine Stock Exchange and the Over-the-Counter Markets Group in the United States. ICTSI operates 34 terminal operations in 20 countries across six continents, including four in Africa.