South Africa: FPT to invest 23 million USD in development of facilities

FPT is one of a handful of private companies in South Africa with port concessions with fruit terminals in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Maputo. In a presentation at the Capespan AGM the potential of the company’s port terminal operations was highlighted.

But it has been reported that the local operations are surprisingly operating at less than a third of full capacity – despite Capespan’s claims that FPT has notched up 50% of the overall fruit market share in recent years (entailing shipping one million pallets of fruit in the deciduous and citrus seasons to international markets).

It is a well know fact that containerisation is on the increase and will see a big growth in coming years, Danie Schoeman, Managing Director of FPT outlines how the company intends to cope with this increase.

"FPT Group have identified this as a continuing trend and has made a strategic decision to grow its container capabilities and capacity. The company has planned investments in redevelopments, acquisitions and the development of hub and spoke networks on a national basis, which will enable us to handle containers cost effectively." Investment will reach up to two hundred million Rand (USD23,178,816).

FPT Group currently do specialized reefer vessels as well as handle container stuffing and de-stufffing in the port. "Our Cape Town facility also has a multipurpose terminal operator license as per the Ports Act and is also registered as a container terminal operator as per the Customs and Excise Act."

Schoeman explains that the timescale for the expansions differs by region. The plan is to implement changes in the Western Cape over a two year period, while the Kwazulu-Natal and Northern regions are planned to be completed over a one year period.

When asked how much Transnet National Ports Authority will influence these plans, Schoeman said, "FPT enjoys a good relationship with Transnet and will continue working closely with the entity in terms of future developments. Some of these developments will be in direct competition with Transnet Port Terminals, but only on some cargoes where there is very little overlap. FPT Group’s plans are in compliance with its terminal operator licenses in the various ports."

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