April 14, 2020: The Cape Town Container Terminal (CTCT), one of 19 Transnet Port Terminals (TPT), has acquired four new-generation straddle carriers. The investment is aimed at mitigating against the impact of windy weather on its operations. This R71 million investment is part of a broader TPT equipment boost of R2 billion in this current year alone.

TPT acting general manager engineering maintenance Maisa Salman said, “Complete stoppage of straddle carriers occurs when wind speeds reach 90 kilometres/hour compared to 72 kilometres/hour for RTGs. With Cape Town experiencing about 7 months of windy weather between October and April, which also sees the peak of the reefer season – this acquisition will improve equipment availability on days of windy weather.”

CTCT operates a rubber tyre gantry (RTG) crane operation and uses straddle carriers as part of their wind recovery strategy to mitigate against the impact of the strong winds.

“We have heeded industry calls for equipment that will improve operational performance. Delighting customers through on-time delivery is the aspiration, and therefore targeted planned maintenance strategies have to underpin efforts,” said Salman. The straddle carriers will be arriving in parts onboard the vessel Santa Rosa and will be assembled on-site with the assistance of engineers from Poland on behalf of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Kalmar. They boast improved drive technology, engine starting reliability, graphical user interface and a new stradmonitor tool for easy and quick troubleshooting and configuration.

“As South Africa observes lockdown rules, the commissioning and hand over of the machines to operations will be delayed due to travel restrictions in place as the machines cannot be assembled and commissioned without the OEM engineers,” said Salman. The straddles complement an existing terminal fleet of the equipment largely servicing the agricultural industry, with containerised cargo moving across trade markets like Asia, Europe, America, Australia and East and West Africa.

TPT is a South African terminal operator responsible for loading and offloading cargo aboard vessels calling the seven South African ports. Operating across 16 sea terminals and 3 inland terminals, TPT’s operations target four major market sectors namely: automotive, containers, bulk and breakbulk.

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