The Mercury, of October 29, 2008, reports on congestion on routes leading to the container terminals and of the long delays experienced by truckers waiting load to and offload cargo. The truckers have apparently been threatening to block the port. The truckers apparently often wait for periods longer than a day with no facilities, including toilets, available to them. Drivers were complaining that they do not get paid for time spent waiting, which should be source of shame to their employers.
The Mercury reported that they had been unable to get comment from Transnet, which runs the harbour and the container terminals. No surprises there, then! It matches up perfectly with my experience of the monolithic Transnet. The story about congestion at the container terminals has been around for years. I wrote about it at least a year ago for the publication I edit and it has been around for much longer than that. There are a couple of efforts underway to try and ease the situation, including the building of the Khangela Bridge to connect Bayhead Road to Sydney Road, but no there is a yet no decision on how to solve the problem.
One plan, which seems to make sense, is to built a container park at Cato Ridge and ferry containers there from the harbour by train. They can be fetched from there by truck which would have the effect of keeping them out of Durban. Another idea, which I described in an earlier post, is to take a leaf out of Dublin’s book and built a tunnel from the harbour to the ring road, for trucks to use.