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New ruling for transport of high cube container in South Africa

High Cube Container – an innocuous steel container of 40′ x 8′ x 9’6″ is once again in the news in South Africa..

Some of you in South Africa may recall that in 2009, the Department of Transport in South Africa (DoT) implemented a ban on the transportation of high cube containers on the country’s roads..

This ban was however revoked within a matter of days..

Well, the DoT seems to be at it again, but this time, it is targeting the trailers that are carrying these high cube containers..

FTW has published below article and has also asked the below question on its LinkedIn Group

What is your take on the new trailer hauling ruling of hi-cube containers?

So what is your take on this ruling..??

As this may not be an issue unique to South Africa, I invite my readers from other countries to also contribute and share your views about this issue and if you are facing the same issue in your country, how is it being tackled there..??

Also remember that there are certain customers who do not want to use High Cube containers due to this 1 feet difference in height..

(click on the image to view a larger version)

Image for high cube article




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Hariesh Manaadiar
Hariesh Manaadiar
I am Hariesh Manaadiar, the Founder of Shipping and Freight Resource.. I have been in the dynamic shipping and freight industry for over three decades and have worked in several sectors.. I share my experiences and knowledge of the industry through this blog for those looking for help in the industry.. Stay subscribed for more free useful content about shipping, freight, maritime, logistics, supply chain and trade..


  1. Hi Hariesh, could you please specify the reason behind this move? I can quote a few examples.

    1) Argentina: We export cellulosic fibre regularly to Argentina and use 40 HQ containers. However, for once specific customer, we HAVE to use 40 GP containers, as he cannot accept HQ containers. If 40 HQ is unavailable, he advises us to send in two 20 GP containers but not to 40 ft. HQ. The reason he says is that his factory is located at such a location, wherein the trailers have to pass through tunnels. Apparently, the height of these tunnels are the major impediment and is unable to let 9.6 Ft. container to pass through. Hence, GP containers. They also use specialized trailers due to this.

    We have another customer in Austria, which also cited similar concerns.

    • Hello Rahul, SA’s concern is similar to Argentina although instead of tunnels, here we have low bridges which the government is worried, might get damaged when the height of the road increases.. The road transport people reject this notion..

    • Hi Hariesh,

      Firstly , I am really pissed off reading about this. Instead of helping business you find restricting progression.

      In my opinion we have a bunch of dumbos in the transport department who a making these claims.I travel the length and breadth of SA on a regular basis and I have never seen an incident of a container colliding with a bridge or infringing on the roofs of petrol stations , it possibly happens however not to an extent that justifies a ban on the HQs.I have seen more incidents where irregular structures strike bridges and tear off filling station roof tops. Examples are, fabricated steel components,earthmoving equipment ,prefabricated mobile homes etc , which are not transported in containers . South African roads are generally resurfaced with the latest milling techonology equipment which removes a layer of approx 100mmof the old tar, adds a new mix of ashphalt and gravel , then redeposits and compacts the asphalt to within few centimeters of the original height ( insignificant in terms of what the DoT is claiming).

      It seems to me that these guys fall asleep on the job and when they get up they find something to shout about for everybody to know that they are still around. What a bunch of losers !!!.They should be taking care of the carnage that the taxis cause on our roads and stop screwing with business which they have little or no idea about.

      That’s my call.

      Ricky Naidoo


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