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City welcomes the port's truck appointment system

The City has welcomed the introduction of the Durban Multipurpose Terminal (MPT). This is the third terminal to introduce a truck appointment system within its operations as it gears up to handle increased container cargo. The Durban MPT is one of a network of 19 sea and inland Transnet Port Terminals.

The port and maritime sector combined are one of the main economic drivers of the City’s economy. It is therefore critical that the port and the inter-related shipping and cargo sectors are efficiently capitalised and managed to ensure that their cost structures are competitive to international standards. The new automated truck appointment system, that was announced as mandatory at the start of the national lockdown, was critical to improve the terminal’s staging time as well as truck turnaround time.

The system has already been implemented at Durban Container Terminal Pier 2 which handles up to 3 000 trucks a day. Used globally as a way of reducing truck turnaround times, the truck appointment system will enable transporters to book delivery slots 48 hours in advance or cancel a booking within two hours prior to the time slot.

Both transporters and employees have been trained adequately on the use of the Navis– based system that manages container flow with guiding manuals for day-to-day troubleshooting. “The benefits of the truck booking system are that it better manages and controls the flow of containers in and out of the terminal and improves customer service,” said Terminal Manager Phumi Blose. She said initially 30 slots per hour would be allocated over a 24-hour period based on demand and capacity. A grace period of 15 minutes before or after the allocated slot time will be granted and dual transactions will be allowed on a single appointment during shift change.

“No trucks will be allowed to park and wait for an appointment to be made and any trucks that arrive at the terminal without an appointment will be turned away,” she said. For the time being, the truck booking system does not apply to breakbulk cargo, which remains a manual process.

“With us going live and it being a new system, we will keep a minimum number of reach stackers on stand-by to service gate operations. This will ensure service integrity should there be any glitches related to operating equipment,” said Blose.  She added that the number of slots would be reviewed in line with planned demand.

Industry co-operation and support remains fundamental in the success of the newly introduced system and engagements are ongoing. Contact details will remain as: rorobookingscontainers@transnet.net  or 031 361 8569/8704.

Priah.dass@durban.gov.za

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