Port disruptions costing importers
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Port disruptions costing importers

Transnet instructs shipping lines to evacuate containers

SOUTH AFRICA: Clearing and Forwarding companies in Cape Town confirm that the status in the port that continues to be affected by the cyberattack launched on Transnet systems is resulting in additional as well as unnecessary costs for their clients.

According to notice issued by Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) South Africa, shipping lines have been instructed by Transnet Port Terminals to evacuate stacked containers from the terminal to help decongest the port. As such containers are being moved by shipping lines to their dedicated terminals at an additional cost to importers of R2,000 per 20ft container or R2,600 per 40 ft container.

One industry source working to clear their clients’ containers says that there is no option for their designated transporters to collect the containers direct from the port despite having them onsite since 5 am this morning. Independent trucks are being redirected to the depots – effectively adding an extra leg to the logistics chain.

With no real line of communication between clearing agents and Transnet, the companies are being compelled to work through the shipping lines and accept the status-quo.

“The port is facing huge problems causing big delays and flow of containers out of port is severely delayed,” confirms one transporter.

While transporters, who are in the port to collect containers on behalf of importers, are being told that their containers cannot be located – shipping lines are able to collect these same containers and transport them to their own depots.

Cape Town Container Terminal managed to restore limited internal functionality of the NAVIS N4 operating system earlier this week, but the external customer links are still not operational.

A notice issued this morning by Maersk Lines noted that “many of” Transnet’s IT issues had been resolved, but added that “the situation is still not back to full control”.

Transnet declared a Force Majeure earlier this week indicating that the disruptions to its IT systems were beyond its control.



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