THE Ngqura Container Terminal (NCT) is set to double its volumes this year.
Transnet is well on its way to achieving its strategy to position the terminal as a world-class transhipment hub, the first of its kind in South Africa, in order to bring additional trade to the Eastern Cape's shores. Projections for this year (2013-2014) are that the NCT will increase its volumes by 52%, compared to growth in previous years of 23% (2012-2013) and 24% (2011-2012).
Transnet Port Terminals Eastern Cape general manager Siya Mhlaluka said the impressive growth was a signal of confidence in the services rendered by the NCT.
"This encourages us to continuously invest in our employees through skills development and infrastructure to boost the contribution in the mainstream economy," Mhlaluka said.
The NCT, which acts as a transfer point for cargo destined for other regional ports, has seen substantial growth year-on-year, from 78935 twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) containers handled in the 2009- 2010 financial year, to 408314 TEUs in 2010-2011 and 623565TEUs in 20012-2013.
The projection for this year (2013-2014) is almost doubled at 949837 TEUs.
The NCT employs more than 500 employees, who work in operations and support services.
Terminal manager: container sector Khetho Nyawose said: "The commitment and pride among employees has seen impressive performance despite adverse weather conditions."
Twice cited in the Drewry Maritime Research Report as the fastest-growing container terminal in the world year-on-year for volume growth, the first container vessel handled at the NCT was in October 2009. Over the next seven years, Transnet plans to invest R300-billion in the country's ports. As part of ongoing investments the NCT is taking delivery of two additional cranes and 18 rubber-tyred gantries in the first half of next year.
Transnet chief executive Brian Molefe said last week, at a public lecture at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Business School in Port Elizabeth, of the R300-billion investment in the country, R26-billion would be invested in the Eastern Cape. This would be utilised for the upgrading of infrastructure at all the Eastern Cape harbours and rail hubs, Molefe said.