Shipping line DAL Agency earlier today announced that it will foreseeably bypass the Port of Cape Town on its north and southbound legs because of continued throughput delays. DAL Agency managing director David McCallum confirmed the temporary decision saying: “We will not be calling at the port at all on our main service any more.
“Instead we will be running a feeder service between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.”
Contacted for comment after Freight News received complaints about ongoing delays at the port, McCallum said the port was a mess.
“There are eight to nine vessels waiting to be worked but the port simply doesn’t have the staff complement to get to all the vessels.”
A while ago Transnet confirmed that efficiencies at the port had been affected because of operational personnel staying at home, fearing infection in a province ravaged by the coronavirus.
“To exacerbate things,” said McCallum, “is the fact that we have no decent communications about what’s happening in Cape Town like we have in Durban.”
At the moment Durban, previously the country’s most problematic port where corruption and congestion had run rampant over the years, appears to be sorted – under the circumstances.
“We receive daily updates from Durban and things there and in ports like PE are running well. So I don’t understand why Cape Town should be any different,” McCallum said. “The current situation is certainly not ideal and has forced us to rely on contingency measures. We’re in the middle of the reefer season but in the absence of communication we have been seeking information elsewhere. Why should we have to do that? We’re the customer. We shouldn’t have to pull information from the port. They should be pushing it to us.”