Thursday, February 10, 2011

Container Terminal Issues TEU Performance Figures

GPS Aids Locating Boxes Within Port
Shipping News Feature

SOUTH AFRICA - Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) have released figures for Ngqura Container Terminal (NCT) which opened in October 2009 and have described the facility as a flagship box terminal constructed as a benchmark to improve other port terminals around the country. Growth in container volumes shipped through NCT, which lies North East of Port Elizabeth and is part of the Ngqura deepwater port complex, were impressive.

January 2011 saw the terminal handle 30,879 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEU’s) 4,930 imports, 6,934 exports while 18,985 was transhipment cargo destined for other regional ports. Shifts working at the terminal consistently achieved 28 moves per Gross Crane Hour (GCH). GCH is the common measure of productivity in the container handling business and represents the number of containers each crane moves per hour. The January total bettered the terminal’s previous highest GCH of 25 achieved just two months after opening on much lower container volumes.

Transnet staff said the improvements in cargo throughput were due to teamwork (the terminal employs 376 operations personnel split over three shifts), additional staff and improvements in vessel and yard planning and the terminal’s new Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) which automatically updates the exact location of containers in the terminal while operators move them from point to point. Previously this was done manually.

On the release of the figures TPT’s Eastern Cape terminal executive manager Siya Mhlaluka said:

“It is pleasing to witness that, as volumes grow, the performance of our operations teams also improves. We want to offer a consistently excellent service to all our clients, by ensuring quick turnaround of vessels. Already these great improvements are the result of teamwork and integrated planning systems among all key role players to enable an efficient service.”