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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Durban port shutdown could worsen truck backlog

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Durban -Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) said it was addressing serious truck traffic congestion in the Bayhead precinct of the port, which began on Tuesday.

This after thousands of Durban motorists were caught up in a traffic gridlock caused by trucks queueing up to enter the terminals.

South coast road, Bayhead and Umbilo roads were the worst affected. Some motorists reported spending two hours to reach the harbour from Seaview, which in normal circumstances would be under 15 minutes.

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Transnet said it was also aware of a social media message, allegedly by transport companies, calling for a boycott of the Durban harbour and urging truckers to park at their depots from 6am on Thursday until 6pm on Monday.

“TNPA has arranged the urgent deployment of the SAPS and Durban metro police and terminal operators to assist in alleviating the traffic backlog. A significant number of employees working across the terminals and depots in the Bayhead and Island View precincts reported being unable to access their work stations in time for duty. This has led to delays in landside operations which are now having a knock-on effect on waterside operations,” the statement read.

Metro police spokesperson Supt Parboo Sewpersadh said traffic had been severely affected on Umbilo Road, Edwin Swales Drive, Bayhead Road and Langeberg Road.

“Members have been deployed to monitor the situation and attempt to alleviate traffic congestion. I have also requested that Metro police management engage and work very closely with management of the port regarding this issue,” he said.

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SA Trucker has been bombarded with pictures and videos of the congestion on the roads while inside Durban Container Terminal it shows a completely different picture.

This picture, taken from the DCT in gate, was sent in by a trucker complaining that he spent 13 hours to get to the gate only to be held there while inside the port it was empty.

durban container terminal
DCT apparently empty inside while the roads outside were packed. Supplied

At about the same time, another trucker was driving contra-flow towards DCT. In the video, you can clearly see that the other side of the road is at a standstill.


SA Trucker spoke to several trucking operators who acknowledged that they have seen the message doing rounds about a shutdown. They, however, could not confirm which organisation was leading the action.

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“Whoever is calling for the shutdown we will support them because as small companies we cannot cope with the incompetence of the port authorities, and eventually we will all close down because of their poor service,” said a truck owner who refused to be named.

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