Oct 8, 2012 – Johannesburg — A strike by truck drivers is set to spread to rail and port workers this week, the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) said.
Cargo handled amounted to 42,668,119 tonnes, which included oil and petroleum products. This tonnage however excludes containers, of which 1.956 million TEUs were handled in Durban last year, and may be calculated as the equivalent of 26,406,000 tonnes which, included with the gross figure above, gives the port a total tonnage of 69,074 million tonnes of cargo handled.
Total tonnage handled by the port (including the calculation for containers) constituted 43,584,358 tonnes of imports, 25,206,730 tonnes of exports and 283,371 tonnes of transhipment cargo.
Last year the combined Durban container terminals handled 1,955,803 TEUs. Containers handled at Durban represented 63% of the total number of containers handled at South African ports.
The Port of Durban has been in operation since the 19th century and continues to provide an essential service to South Africa’s substantial import/export trade. Managed by South African Port Operations (SAPO), Durban’s port handles substantial volumes of cargo and received passenger ships from around the world.
It was in 1824 that the first European settlers arrived in the bay of Natal and, recognizing the potential of the natural bay, decided to establish a trading post to serve southern Africa’s east coast. A harbor master was later appointed, a sandbar blocking the entrance channel was removed, and Durban harbor soon became the busiest cargo port in Africa.
The central business district of Durban and the Point waterfront is to the north of the port, whilst Maydon Wharf is in the west and Bayhead ship repair area is in the south. Durban harbor boasts some 59 berths over and above those used for ship repair and by fishing vessels. VLCC (very large crude carriers) can dock at the Isipingo buoy mooring and 302 km of rail tracks make their way through the port.