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A containership docking at the Port of Cape Town

Port of Cape Town. Stock Photo: Chris Troch/Shutterstock

Cape Town Tells Port to Do Better After Being Ranked Last in World

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June 7, 2024

By Paul Burkhardt (Bloomberg) —

The Port of Cape Town was urged to do better by the city that surrounds it after ranking last globally, even as South Africa’s state-run logistics firm took steps to improve performance.

The container terminal came 405th on The Container Port Performance Index 2023 that’s based on vessel time in port, the World Bank said in the report published Wednesday. State-owned Transnet SOC Ltd. is trying to bring in private operators and upgrade old equipment to curb the losses suffered by South Africa’s economy due to hampered mineral exports and ships waiting to unload.

“The inefficiencies at our port not only impede the flow of goods but also significantly hamper our economic growth,” the City of Cape Town said in a statement on Friday. It called for more integration of the private sector to boost performance. 

The World Bank added 57 new ports to the index this year and South African harbors took up the last two spots with the Port of Ngqura coming in at 404th. Durban, the nation’s biggest terminal, was the eighth worst.

South African PortCPPI Ranking
Port Elizabeth391
Cape Town405

At a visit to Cape Town operations last month, Oscar Borchards, Transnet’s acting managing executive for terminals in the Western Cape province, described a plan to increase capacity. New equipment to load and unload ships will be able to operate in higher wind speeds, avoiding the problem of worsening weather when gusts force the port to shut. 

A recent fruit export season was a challenging period when the need for upgrades “really hit us,” according to Borchards. “We are seeing changes already in terms of improvement, in terms of productivity,” he said. “As the equipment comes up and, and the technology comes into play step by step, it’ll improve.”

© 2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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