Cape Town Tells Port to Improve After Being Ranked Last in World

Cape Town Tells Port to Improve After Being Ranked Last in World
A ship-to-shore crane at the Port of Cape Town, in South Africa. Photographer: Dwayne senior/Bloomberg

Cape Town Tells Port to Improve After Being Ranked Last in World

The container terminal came 405th on The Container Port Performance Index 2023 that’s based on vessel time in port, the World Bank said in the report published Wednesday. State-owned Transnet SOC Ltd. is trying to bring in private operators and upgrade old equipment to curb the losses suffered by South Africa’s economy due to hampered mineral exports and ships waiting to unload.

“The inefficiencies at our port not only impede the flow of goods but also significantly hamper our economic growth,” the City of Cape Town said in a statement on Friday. It called for more integration of the private sector to boost performance.

The World Bank added 57 new ports to the index this year and South African harbors took up the last two spots with the Port of Ngqura coming in at 404th. Durban, the nation’s biggest terminal, was the eighth worst.

South African Port CPPI Ranking
Port Elizabeth 391
Durban 398
Ngqura 404
Cape Town 405

At a visit to Cape Town operations last month, Oscar Borchards, Transnet’s acting managing executive for terminals in the Western Cape province, described a plan to increase capacity. New equipment to load and unload ships will be able to operate in higher wind speeds, avoiding the problem of worsening weather when gusts force the port to shut.

A recent fruit export season was a challenging period when the need for upgrades “really hit us,” according to Borchards. “We are seeing changes already in terms of improvement, in terms of productivity,” he said. “As the equipment comes up and, and the technology comes into play step by step, it’ll improve.”


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  • Richard Blake says:

    The ANC is like diarrhoea the gift never stop giving.

  • Brandon VE says:

    That port is so inactive compared to Durban. The Durban port is a constant traffic jam of containers on the road from that port. I hardly see any in CT, it’s like we don’t even have a port. Maybe it’s just really small.

    • Steve Davidson says:

      Which is why if you’re going to do a ranking you need to use some kind of weighting. If you drive up the N3 in Natal you’ll understand why it’s way more busy than Cape Town by the constant stream of lorries heading North and not just for deliveries in SA. CT is tiny in comparison.

  • Robert Pegg says:

    Crisis management has become the norm in South Africa. Billions have been lost in tax revenue because of the poorly maintained rail system. Who would want to invest in a country that can’t get the basics right ?

    • Jennifer D says:

      We need to understand why they cannot get it right. Surely so many people cannot all be so incredibly incompetent? Or do they just not care?

  • Agf Agf says:

    Shocking and embarrassing. I remember the Suez crisis in the sixties with hundreds of ships anchored in Table Bay waiting to come in. The Harbour worked 24/7 to process them. It was a hive of activity and the ships chandlers businesses boomed.

  • Christo Lombard says:

    The shipping companies are avoiding our ports due to inefficiencies and because Walvis Bay and Port Louis are much cheaper in terms of port fees.

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