Modest port and rail tariff hike

Jan 27, 2005
Author: P&S

Port users will generally be pleased with the 2005 port and container handling tariffs, announced yesterday by Transnet.

The new tariffs apply from 1 April.

The National Ports Authority (NPA) will increase its cargo dues by 1% whereas the South African Port Operations (SAPO) increase for the container sector is 5.7%.

This amounts to an overall increase in port tariffs of 3.1%, which Maria Ramos, Transnet chief executive, says will augment Transnet’s strategy of contributing to lowering the cost of doing business in South Africa.

Transnet tariff increases in 2004 averaged 16.5% and were more than double that in 2003, so the news for port and rail users thus far is promising.

Analysts say they are pleasantly surprised at this low rate of tariff increase, which indicates that the organisation does intend improving its bottom line by increasing efficiency instead of raising prices.

In its last full financial year Transnet, which handled 194mt of freight through the ports and 176mt of rail freight, declared a net loss of R6.3Bn against a turnover of R43.6Bn.

Referring to Spoornet, Ramos announced the names of a team deployed to assist the Spoornet acting CEO, Siyabonga Gama. The team includes Papi Molotsane, Transnet group executive for marketing and logistics, and Nick Thompson, senior partner at Ernst & Young, who has been seconded to Spoornet for six months as general manager of finance.

“Spoornet is a critical role player in the logistics chain in South Africa and hence at the core of Transnet’s turnaround strategy to improve operational efficiency. We remain committed to providing our customers with an operationally efficient service by managing our business effectively,” she said.

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