Transnet Port Terminals’ investment programme still going according to plan

A R140 million, general bulk shiploader procured for South Africa’s Port of Richards Bay is the latest addition in Transnet Port Terminal’s (TPT) R33 billion Market Demand Strategy (MDS) investment programme. Custom-built to complement the terminal’s operational envelope, the loader was designed in Austria and built in China; however, South African engineering company Sandvik has managed its entire procurement.

Its capacity is a guaranteed 2,500tph (tonnes per hour) at a bulk density of 1.9 tonnes per cubic metre (t/m3). The linear travelling loader will be suitable for all export commodities the terminal handles including coal, magnetite, chrome and chloride – among others.

According to terminal manager,Victor Mkhize:“This arriving shiploader is a replacement of the less suited, 35-year-old Krupp machine that has now exceeded its design life.”

He added that the loader not only boasted better outreach and a higher draft to accommodate much larger vessels, it had also been designed to be environmentally friendly with its built-in dust collection system and three dust free loading chutes. 

Just over 70% of the terminal’s total commercial trade is export. The addition of equipment is aimed at the MDS’s promise of facilitating unconstrained growth, unlocking demand and creating world-class port operations through improved efficiencies.

TPT chief executive Karl Socikwa said:“TPT will in the next seven years, invest in infrastructure, maintenance and expansion, drive growth and increase our footprint in Africa offering improved connectivity to existing and new markets.”

Socikwa said there were several projects currently under way across all terminals to ensure that equipment woes would no longer hinder operational targets.

A skills transfer opportunity has also been created through Sandvik where TPT operators and the technical team will be trained for sustainable operations. The pre-assembled loader will be off-loaded and installed upon arrival to undergo commissioning. The machine is scheduled to be fully operational in April 2013.


Transnet Port Terminals is a division of Transnet SOC Limited, South Africa’s state-owned freight transport and handling company.

It provides efficient and reliable cargo-handling services at terminals situated across seven South African ports — Durban, Richards Bay, Cape Town, Saldanha, Port Elizabeth, Ngqura and East London.TPT customers include shipping lines, freight forwarders and cargo owners.

Operations cover import and export operations across the following cargo sectors: containers, mineral bulk and the agricultural bulk and ro/ro sector.

Karl Socikwa is the chief executive. The company has a staff complement of over 6,000.