New fruit terminal opens at Durbanís Maydon Wharf
Jun 8, 2004
Although not the official opening, which will take place later, Durbanís new fruit terminal on Maydon Wharf entered service with a flourish last week with the arrival of the NYK Reefers ship Procyon, which loaded pallets of citrus bound for Japan.
The new terminal, known as Maydon Wharf Fruit Terminal (MFT) is situated opposite berth 7, and becomes the third dedicated citrus terminal to operate in Durban. The other two are Fresh Produce Terminals (FPT) on the T-Jetty (berths O, O/P and P) and SA Fruit Terminals (SAFT) at the Point (berth C).
The terminal is specially geared to handle steri-fruit requirements with facilities for 4,800 pallets under rapid cooling as well as for a further 1,500 pallets of conventionally cooled citrus. During the citrus season about 80 people will be employed.
MFT, a part of Commercial Cold Storage, is a joint venture involving the Oceana Group Ltd and SA Port Operations (SAPO).
According to Willem Visagie, managing director of Commercial Cold Storage, the terminal was ten years in the planning and came together in the form of a joint venture with SAPO because Ďthat route made good business sense.í
In addition, the deal involved the exchange of adjacent properties opposite berths 6 and 7 plus an overall investment of about R60 million to develop the site as a modern warehouse served by road and rail access. The terminal fits in with plans of transforming Maydon Wharf into clusters of similar business types.
Visagie said the terminal would handle other products such as rice during the off-season. The Oceana Group intended looking at expansion opportunities at Port Elizabeth and was watching developments at Maputo closely.
NYK Reefers expects to have ten of its ships calling at Maydon Wharf during the current season. This is in addition to vessels of other companies. The NYK ships are represented in Durban by Portco Ships Agency with the stevedore function being looked after by Supermaritime South Africa.