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Cape Town's private port terminal operator adds electric forklifts to operations

FPT Group (Pty) Ltd, a private multi-purpose port terminal operator in the Ports of Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth, in a bid to bolster operational efficiency of its growing direct fruit operations in the Port of Cape Town has recently introduced a fleet of ten lithium-ion electric forklifts into its operations.

This strategic move marks a significant leap forward for FPT, promising enhanced productivity, versatility, and cost-effectiveness in its day-to-day activities. These lithium-ion forklifts has the ability to operate continuously for extended periods, ranging from 12 to 16 hours, on a single full battery charge. This extended runtime eliminates the need for frequent battery changes, thereby minimising downtime, and maximising productivity. Moreover, with a rapid charging time of just 2.7 hours, the forklifts can quickly recharge between shifts, ensuring uninterrupted workflow and seamless operation.

The new equipment offers a much better manoeuvrability that translates into increased efficiency and safety, as operators can navigate tight spaces more effectively, minimising the risk of accidents or disruptions.

FPT has strategically relocated its battery recharge bay closer to the vessels' operations, streamlining the process of supplying forklifts to the vessels. This optimisation has resulted in significant improvements in turnaround times, allowing for quicker and more efficient deployment of forklifts as needed.

FPT have invested over R20 million in the past year, which has funded the additional forklifts and battery bay relocation, along with the purchasing of an additional reach stacker increasing its fleet from six to seven reach stackers to further enhance FPT's capacity to service its customers requirements which have increased significantly over the past year with the doubling of their container volumes handled.

The company offers a diverse range of services including bulk and break-bulk services for fruit and general cargo, stevedoring and container handling. FPT currently handles 100% of all break bulk fruit exported in the Port of Cape Town, with its volumes growing by 315% in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023. This increase has elevated its market share from 3% to 15,5% of all fruit shipped from the Port of Cape Town.

Maintenance plans for equipment are in place to ensure compliance and safety measures which ultimately leads to cost saving and the provision of an efficient and reliable service.

With the enhancements made FPT can better meet the dynamic demands of its operations, by minimising delays and optimising resource allocation, ultimately improving overall productivity and customer satisfaction through quick turnaround of vessels thereby assisting the Port to ensure that no vessels bypass the Port of Cape Town.

For more information:
Paulo Franco
Email: [email protected]

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