Transnet Port Terminals Richards Bay Dry Bulk steams ahead

Head and shoulders of Nombuso Afolayan, TPT General Manager: KZN Operations, Bulk, Break-Bulk & Cars

Transnet Port Terminals is a critical link in the logistics chain facilitating cargo between South Africa and the rest of the world. Therefore the demand for it to be efficient and assist in reducing the cost of the country’s logistic chain is high. Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) has committed themselves to improving efficiencies within its operations to meet that of global standards and their Richards Bay Dry Bulk Terminal is leading the way with the latest installation of terminal software known as Commtrac. The new software collates and processes information from other systems and automates manual processes where feasible, whilst improving the user experience in being able to perform their function more efficiently.

“Our mission is to be a focused freight-handling logistics company that delivers integrated, efficient, safe, reliable and cost effective services in order to promote economic growth in South Africa. The introduction of the new Commtrac software is an important step in achieving this,” stated Deirdre Ackermann, TPT General Manager for Information & Communication Technology. According to Ackermann, the software will supplement and support TPT’s business processes by providing real time accurate reporting, inventory tonnage position, real time overview of loading and discharge progress and real time overview of delays and variances among many other important functions and insights.

“We believe that this new software will contribute towards cost savings through efficiencies, optimised processes and enhanced customer satisfaction within our Richards Bay Dry Bulk Terminal. Our staff is being empowered with technology that coordinates and integrates planning and operational activities and reports at all levels. We are already enjoying the benefits of a robust bulk operational system with our teams from the divisions of management, planning, operations, finance and engineering being key to implement and fully exploit this innovation”, said Terminal Management.

The investment in this software forms part of Transnet’s Market Demand Strategy (MDS) embarked on in 2012 in support of Government’s drive for infrastructure-led economic growth in South Africa. The MDS is a R336,6bn seven-year rolling investment programme to expand and modernize the country’s ports, rail and pipeline infrastructure. It places emphasis on achieving improvements in operating efficiency, productivity and reliability thus improving competitiveness and customer satisfaction. A key part of this is embracing technology.