The citrus industry’s ambition to move as much cargo as possible to rail is on track – and although it has a way to go, Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) is clearly coming to the party.
During the past season, TFR transported a record 66 train lots and 3 662 FEU reefer containers from Tzaneen, Bela Bela and City Deep to Durban. “This is a whopping 20% increase from 2020, despite known challenges on the container rail corridor (between Kingsrest and Johannesburg),” said Citrus Growers Association logistics development manager Mitchell Brooke.
“The end goal in terms of the CGA rail strategy is to transport more than 15 000 reefer containers from the reef to ports for export to offset the foreseen 20% increased demand for supply of road trucks by 2025,” he said.
It’s a lofty target, but progress has been made nonetheless.
TFR CE Sizakele Mzimele has acknowledged the challenges faced and presented a progress report on the container corridor last week to the Durban Port Consultative Committee (DPCC).
“She highlighted the challenges but also laid out a plan on how they intend to fix these issues and begin to grow volumes in the near future,” said Brooke.