The Road Freight Association (RFA) has advised its members to delay any departures towards Durban, and to find depots and safe parking areas along the way until the situation has improved at the Port of Durban.
This after authorities in KwaZulu-Natal requested transporters to suspend or withhold freight movements to the port following destruction of infrastructure during the recent heavy rains and floods.
RFA’s calls come after similar requests by Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) and Bulk Connections for transporters to temporarily stop sending trucks to their facilities while authorities assess the degree of damage to infrastructure.
National and regional routes in the eThekwini area were affected by floods, landslides, sink holes and wash aways thereby affecting smooth movement of trucks.
Parts of Bayhead Road was washed away by floods. It’s the main road used by trucks to access the Port of Durban.
“There are already long queues of trucks along the N3. The Marianhill plaza has a backlog of 10km all the way to Hammarsdale and the problem is that (according to the Road Traffic Inspectorate) the local communities are now targeting the trucks (eg. looting),” said
RFA CEO, Gavin Kelly.
Access roads around the Port have been damaged, container yards, truck depots and trucks themselves have been flooded and damaged and the area is really a disaster at the moment.
Kelly said that logistics operations will be impacted, “There will be delivery disruptions for goods being imported. The Association advises members to delay any departures towards Durban, and to find depots and safe parking areas along the way,”
“Where possible, Members have been requested to assist one another to get any vehicles off the road and to secure holding areas until the logistics chain is up and running again,” he added.
Kelly said no foreseeable shortages in foodstuffs and fuel are expected.