Coast KZN

22 Apr 2021

Port of Richards Bay shipping stats increase

Gugu Myeni (Zululand Observer)

After recording a decline in January and February, the Port of Richards Bay’s cargo volumes increased to 8.4 million tonnes in March. This is a substantial spike compared to the 6.3 million tonnes in February, and the 6.5 million tonnes in January.

In March last year, Richards Bay, which has the largest dry bulk terminal in the country, shifted 8.1 million tonnes.

Of the cargo volumes handled last month, 8.1 million tonnes were dry bulk, 249 881 were liquid bulk volumes and 55 228 tonnes were breakbulk. A total of 150 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU) containers were moved at the local port – 77 TEUs which landed on our shores, while 73 were shipped.

Of the 137 vessel arrivals with a gross tonnage of 5 790 741, 13 were tankers transporting oil and chemicals.

Richards Bay pushed through a challenging year for global trade in 2020, moving a total of 95 million tonnes in the course of the year. These results followed a tumultuous period for imports and exports, owing to various restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

According to Transnet’s financial results for the year ended 30 September 2020, the Richards Bay Dry Bulk Terminal’s loading rate declined to 800 tonnes per hour for the six-month period (2019: 828 tonnes per hour), and the offloading rate declined to 416 tonnes per hour (2019: 459 tonnes per hour).

After the initial hard lockdown, output was adversely impacted by regulations that prohibited mines from operating at full capacity.