With a new bridge now linking the recently opened R100 million car terminal extension at the Durban port, the port’s efficiency should be greatly improved.

With a new bridge now linking the recently opened R100 million car terminal extension at the Durban port, the port’s efficiency should be greatly improved.

The South African Port Operations (Sapo) this week opened the 380m bridge and the first cars to be transported across it were a multi-million rand consignment of more than 700 BMW’s bound for the US.

The bridge is an 11-span continuous concrete deck, with two 3,5 m-wide lanes and a pedestrian walkway linking the car terminal and the quayside. The new three-level parking garage increased the car terminal's capacity from 3 500 to 7 000 parking bays.

The overhead bridge is expected to reduce risk and to improve productivity and vessel turnaround time.

Bev Mason, Sapo's business unit manager for the car terminal, said night deliveries were previously not possible due to poor lighting conditions and high security risks.

"The new bridge is well lit and fully covered by surveillance. We have permission from vehicle manufacturers to move orders at night, taking us a step further in improving turnaround and vessel berth occupation times," Mason said.

Previously the responsibility of the shipping lines, Sapo will also reduce its clients' costs by undertaking the transportation of vehicles to and from the terminal.

Mason said vehicles moving in and out of Durban's port this year would total 160 000, with a 60:40 split in favour of imports.

Original article from Car