Risk profile of weather and system-related port congestion for the Cape Town container terminal

Potgieter, Lilian ; Goedhals-Gerber, Leila L. ; Havenga, Jan (2020)

CITATION: Potgieter, L., Goedhals-Gerber, L. L. & Havenga, J. 2020. Risk profile of weather and system-related port congestion for the Cape Town container terminal. Southern African Business Review, 24, article #6149, doi:10.25159/1998-8125/6149.

The original publication is available at https://upjournals.co.za/index.php/SABR


The South African maritime industry suffers from a number of risks, with the most prominent source of risk stemming from congestion within port terminals. The Port of Cape Town is one of South Africa’s main ports. Two of the risks faced by the Cape Town Container Terminal (CTCT) and associated with port congestion are adverse weather and system challenges. The study investigated the current frequency and scheduling impact of weather- and system-related congestion experienced by ocean carriers in the CTCT. This study was conducted in two phases, namely exploratory secondary research, followed by primary research. The secondary research provided background information and historical data on the Port of Cape Town, the CTCT, and congestion in South Africa’s ports as well as global port congestion. In addition, the primary data collected, which comprised personal interviews and email correspondence, were used to analyse current port congestion within the CTCT and to develop risk profiles. The major findings of this study indicate that both weather- and system-related port congestion are ranked as major risks occurring between 2011 and 2018 in the CTCT, suggesting that greater risk mitigation strategies should be implemented. This risk ranking will likely worsen in the future, if mitigation strategies are not improved. The study classifies weather- and system-related port congestion in the CTCT in terms of the level of risk and helps identify which areas management should focus on to mitigate greater levels of risk in the future.

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