Cyclone/Tropical storm Eloise which hit Beira in Mozambique late January has reportedly caused severe damage in South Africa as well.
As a result of this several port operations in South Africa has been hampered. Richards Bay Terminal operated by Transnet Port Terminals has declared Force Majeure due to same.
In a statement issued by Transnet Port Terminals, they mentioned that due to the strong winds and heavy rains experienced, Richards Bay Terminal had to enforce Force Majeure.
The rain and wind has resulted in the slow loading of vessels due to flooded stockpiles, flooded rail lines thus impacting offloading and berthing of vessels being impacted due to high swells and high wind speeds.
The Terminal is said to have activated a daily command centre to monitor the situation and impact of this tropical storm.
Richards Bay terminal handles a variety of cargoes and as per the terminal, the offloading of wet cargo at Tippler will be handled via backactor, as and when capacity becomes available whereas the offloading of road trucks will be minimal due to congestion within the stockpiles as a result of the rain.
As per the statement, the terminal had to outsource equipment to try and reduce the water within the stockpiles
and the monitoring of this is ongoing.
“The Force Majeure Event is in place until the backlog of vessels are serviced, stockpiles and rail lines have been cleared of all water. Further update will be sent through should there be any changes thereafter. We are working hard to try and mitigate and minimize any negative impact that the Force Majeure might have within the operational space.” the statement read.
Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) is a division of Transnet SOC Limited, South Africa’s state-owned freight transport company which owns and operates 16 terminals situated across seven South African Ports.
Operations are divided into major market sectors, namely containers, bulk, break bulk and automotive and organised into three geographical regions – Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal.