South African Industrial Hub Has Found a Faster Route to the Sea

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A new inland transit facility between South Africa and Mozambique could slash transport times between the Maputo port and the region’s industrial and business hub.

DP World’s new dry port depot in Komatipoort, a town on South Africa’s eastern border with Mozambique, operates as a bonded container facility, allowing shippers to clear customs quicker when they arrive from the Maputo port that’s a 100-kilometer (62-mile) drive away. That way, a container can reach the Gauteng province with South Africa’s financial hub, Johannesburg, and capital, Pretoria, within a day of it arriving in Maputo, the Dubai-based port operator said.

Durban harbor, which handles 69% of South Africa’s maritime imports, has struggled to meet demand and cut transit times, with inbound containers spending an average of three days in the port, and those for export almost double that time.

South African Industrial Hub Has Found a Faster Route to the Sea

The country plans to invest 100 billion rand ($7.4 billion) over the next decade to increase Durban’s container handling capacity to more than 11 million units a year from 2.9 million units, President Cyril Ramaphosa said in April.

Read more: South Africa Plans 100 Billion-Rand Expansion of Durban Port

DP World’s Maputo container terminal is much smaller, with expansion underway to increase capacity to one million units a year. The company has spent $100 million expanding capacity over the last five years, and will invest another $130 million.

South African Industrial Hub Has Found a Faster Route to the Sea

The company also plans to expand the Komatipoort dry port depot and build rail infrastructure that will allow it to transport containers by train from Maputo into South Africa within a year or two. That would reduce risks of shipments getting snared in congestion at the border, where queues of trucks waiting to cross can stretch for more than 20 kilometers. The expansion at the Komatipoort facility will cost 185 million rand, DP World said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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