Strategies to reduce the backlog at the Port of Cape Town are bearing fruit, with Maersk announcing that it will resume calls at the port on the northbound rotation of the South Africa Europe Container Service (Saecs).
Due to prolonged delays at the port caused by Covid-19 staff shortages, Maersk announced in June that it had decided to bypass Cape Town on the Saecs rotation between Durban and the Port of Algericas (WAF1).
However, in a customer advisory notice released yesterday, Maersk said: “Waiting time in Cape Town terminal has decreased significantly which has allowed us to review our Saecs product."
“We are pleased to inform you that we will revert back to Cape Town with our Saecs northbound call and resume WAF1 in Port Elizabeth to cover the Eastern Cape market to Europe.”
The first vessel heralding the re-introduction of Saecs calls at Cape Town will be the Santa Isabel, a 7100-TEU Danish-flagged container vessel, on 6 August.
It was also announced that the Maersk Rubicon would be the first WAF1 vessel to resume calls at Port Elizabeth on 2 August.
The line would however continue to bypass Cape Town southbound for the time being in order to maintain schedule integrity as far as possible on the Saecs service, Maersk said.
“All imports destined for Cape Town will therefore be discharged on the second call in Cape Town with the Saecs service resuming Cape Town coverage northbound.
“There will be no change to import routings to Port Elizabeth and Durban.”