The Port of Durban has handled its highest container volumes in seven years as throughput grew year-on-year by 9.5% to 2.9m teu in 2018.
Container exports grew exponentially by 17% while imports also saw an increase of 10%.
Port of Durban acting port manager Nokuzola Nikowane said: “The Port of Durban continues to work with terminal operators and other stakeholders to ensure improvements in terminal productivity levels for quicker ship turnaround times. Operational efficiencies are the focus to drive volume performance.”
The facility was successful in other areas of its business and recorded particularly high volumes in its automotive sector.
Automotive throughput hit 487,000 units – the highest figure since 2013 when the port handled 503,000 units – and imports grew 4% and exports grew 15% excluding transhipment and coastwise cargo.
Dry bulk volumes grew by 5.8%, driven mainly by dry bulk exports while imports remained fairly stable with the biggest growth seen from rice and associated products, wheat, malt, fertiliser products, coal and coke.
Liquid bulk volumes grew by a moderate 3.1%, helped mostly by demand factors and the fact that South Africa acts as a net importer of crude.
Breakbulk volumes remained relatively on par with 2017’s volumes although throughput in this sector is erratic as some cargoes have migrated to other forms of handling such as containerisation and dry bulk.