Durban – Transnet Port Terminals has implemented a mandatory truck appointment system across the Durban Container Terminals, which has seen a drastic reduction in the number of trucks waiting to enter the port, effectively reducing the lines of trucks which previously contributed to Bayhead Road traffic.
According to KZN Containers Acting General Manager Abubaker Badat, the system was implemented at the onset of the nationwide lockdown which came into effect almost two months ago.
Badat said in line with Covid-19 standard safety and prevention measures, the terminal is currently handling the same number of trucks handled during normal operating levels.
“When trucks converge at the terminal at the same time unannounced, many challenges are introduced into the system,” he said.
Badat explained that the appointment system was a process improvement initiative, which will continue to yield positive results, even after the national lockdown.
“It is gratifying to observe our stakeholders benefit from the full implementation of the truck appointment system. Like any appointment, time and required resources are reserved for each truck and we are able to match demand with supply more efficiently,” he said.
Considered best practice in the container sector globally, a mandatory truck appointment system not only offered operational efficiency but financial value for both the terminal operator and the customer, since waiting times are reduced.
“We have in the past, had trucks waiting for extended periods to be serviced. The use of the truck appointment system has enabled the terminal to control the rate of collections and deliveries, thereby ensuring optimal utilisation of landside capacity,” he said.
Badat said while this process improvement initiative will yield further visible results when all road users gradually return to the new normal, parallel discussions hope to review, comprehensively, further improvements to operations at the ports and terminals.
“This will reduce inefficiencies in the long term,” he said. IOL