Feeder service mooted between Ngqura and East London

DECEMBER 4, 2014

The East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ) has completed a feasibility study into an investment into a feeder vessel “that would operate between East London and the Port of Ngqura to move freight from the transhipment port to the East London feeder port”.

Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC Sakhumzi Somyo, has told the Legislature this “would allow for more frequency in the movement of freight between the two ports”.

Replying to a question from Ross Purdon (DA), the MEC said that in addition it would reduce the pressure on the Eastern Cape roads from trucks “while also providing a more cost-effective logistical solution for industries in the region”, adding that this would, in turn, make the ELIDZ “a competitive location for export-oriented industry.

“The ELIDZ is currently engaging with a number of stakeholders, including Transnet, the Buffalo City Municipality and the National Department of Transport to look at the required investment for this project and finalise the operational model in this regard”.

He said a “critical challenge” was the international move towards the use of mega-vessels in order to improve efficiency in the shipping industry. Due to the size and location of the port there were “limited opportunities for future port expansion,” adding that a direct result of this was that mega-vessels were unable call at the Port of East Lon-don.

The MEC pointed out that the situation with regard to Ngqura and East London was “not uncommon,” and in many countries where there were transhipment hubs such as that at Ngqura “the other ports are positioned as feeder ports.

“Unfortunately, with the Ngqura Port’s positioning as a transhipment port and that of East London as a feeder port, there is an introduction of additional shipping costs for the transportation of cargo from Ngqura to East London.

“The additional costs therefore become a competitive disadvantage for the ELIDZ, especially with regard to the attraction of export-oriented investors the ports...for shipment of inputs and exports of finished products.” - metrominutes

 

IMAGE sourced from www.algoafm.co.za