10 October 2017

No Freight Moving as Storm Causes All Port of Durban Shipping Activity to Cease  

Torrential Rain and High Winds Bring Problems to South African Coast

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Shipping News Feature SOUTH AFRICA – Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has issued an alert that all vessel movements have been suspended in the Port of Durban due to extreme weather. The conditions are also expected to disrupt freight operations at the Port of Richards Bay. Durban has been hit by torrential rain and high winds that have caused havoc across the city and for the busy harbour. Transnet also states that their marine services team and tugboats are assisting with several emergencies. These include the grounding of three vessels in the Port of Durban.

Other vessels have broken mooring lines and are drifting in the channel. In a video taken by a member of the public one container ship, the MSC Ines, a 9,133 TEU vessel, appears to have swung side on in the channel, completely blocking it. Though the operator is still in the process of determining damage to port infrastructure, they confirm that so far no injuries have been reported in the port itself. Unfortunately so far two people, including one policeman, are reported to have died elsewhere in the city.

Several TNPA premises have been flooded including the Transnet Maritime School of Excellence in Bayhead Road. Terminal and rail operations have been suspended to ensure the safety of people and equipment. In a statement the company said that:

“We have assured all stakeholders of our urgent attention and allocation of resources to address these challenges. We will continue to monitor the situation closely via Port Control and the Harbour Masters’ offices, and will keep stakeholders updated.”

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