After implementing the hugely successful, automated truck booking system in March, Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) plans to bring on board the truck drivers by introducing a Truck Driver Induction program which will ensure truck drivers understand how to behave in the port environment.
This is according to Moshe Motlohi, General Manager at the Port of Durban. He was talking about more interventions by TPT in it’s bid to modernise operations.
Truck Driver Induction
“We have seen that there are things we took for granted, that truck drivers ought to understand how to behave in the port environment. Our research has pointed us differently that people do not necessarily understand how things are done.
“We have then developed an induction program that is targeted on bringing on board the truck drivers to take them through what we assume as common knowledge where we are going to train them and make sure that they really understand how to behave in and around the port.
“Our Maritime School of Excellence has developed a program which we really feel is comprehensive enough to bring everyone who comes to the port on board for them to understand. Sadly, we have not rolled this one out because of Covid-19 challenges,” said Motlohi.
The programme includes modules related to terminal operations, incident management, the use of correct Personal Protective Equipment, the port’s stance on substance abuse, among other focus areas.
The piloting of the Truck Drivers Induction has been delayed by Covid-19 and there may be a need to look at conducting this training virtually.
Truck owners associations
Truck owners will also be requested to declare whether they belong to any formal industry association.
“We want to have an all-inclusive approach in engaging with independent players as well as trucking companies that belong to the two big harbour carriers’ associations.
“We will allocate equitable attention to these companies and associations so that we have a shared view of how we can all work together. It will also help us gather intelligence on trucking companies and truckers, including a record of behaviour so that we can professionalise and raise the levels of ethics and fairness,” Motlohi said.
However, Sue Moodley, Chair of the Harbour Carriers division within the South African Association of Freight Forwarders, said transporters would still have freedom of choice in terms of whether they wish to align themselves with any association.
She also said that the harbour carriers division would continue to engage and provide feedback on the various workstreams which report into the Port of Durban Decongestion Task Team.
Motlohi said the support of law enforcement was critical in ensuring compliance. eThekwini Metro Police continues to be visible on Bayhead Road intersections between 06h00 – 23h00 to help instil law and order including checks on roadworthiness and adherence to traffic rules.