Intermodal Connectivity

Tambo Springs | Logistics Gateway | logistics-and-freight

The Tambo Springs Logistics Gateway involves creating a significantly improved intermodal capability for the movement of freight to and from Gauteng. This is to be achieved by the operational twinning of the Gateway with other seaports, inland, and cross-border locations. The connectivity i.r.o. these twinned locations are achieved via sea, rail, road and air linkages, ideally involving a seamless movement of freight between modes. The key elements are as follows:


The Tambo Springs Terminal will be linked to the Durban Container Terminal which currently handles the bulk of all container freight moving in and out of Gauteng, via an efficient rail service. The fixed rail infrastructure for this link already exists to the Tambo Springs site.

This state of the art Terminal facility is designed to significantly increase the rail capacity for container freight to/from Gauteng, while simultaneously reducing real costs and significantly improving levels of service via:

  • a new technology "greenfields" terminal being more efficient;
  • a reduction of congestion issues in and out of the new terminal due to its location;
  • improved efficiency of port operations;
  • having the facility serviced by improved rolling stock commissioned by Transnet and operated on the basis of a clear service level agreement.

In addition to the direct rail link with Durban harbour, the initial phase of this programme involves the twinning of the Coega IDZ and its adjoining Deep Water Container Terminal at the Port of Ngqura with Tambo Springs.

The initiative involves the creation of a secure and bonded sprinter freight rail link between the two locations which provides the required level of intermodal service by creating:

• Two intermodal yards with adjoining industrial/logistics zones (with phase 1 capacity of 200,000 TEU's p.a.) to be operated as "Greenfields" sites both ends of the land bridge;

  • Dedicated sprinter block/unit train movement between the two locations using new equipment suited for COFC - TOFC (Container on Flat Car - Truck on Flat Car) movement;
  • Secure and bonded transportation of freight as part of an integrated operational capability enabling the clearing of customs at the inland Terminal/Gateway location.
  • A track and trace capability, validating the integrity of the containers, while optimizing the logistics function.

This is to be undertaken by means of a Public Private Partnership type structure which utilizes the Transnet capability between the two locations as well as the participation of SARS.

The service level to be achieved for the movement of the freight via this land bridge has a goal of 24 hours. This is to be achieved by capitalizing on the creation of high efficiency intermodal activities integrated with the port functions and feeder network.

The Tambo Springs Logistics Gateway will function as a multimodal logistics gateway serving the Gauteng Catchment area. It, therefore, provides ease of movement between individual transportation modes in addition to facilitating manufacturing, warehousing and distribution activities.

The operational plan is therefore designed to accommodate long distance (FTL) truck traffic in addition to regional (LTL) freight movement. The principle truck markets the Logistics Gateway will attract include:

  • FTL long distance movement of time sensitive freight from other ports or metropolitan areas. This includes both cross docking and stuffing/destuffing facilities within the Logistics Gateway;
  • Rail/truck (intermodal) movement where product utilizing the rail links is transferred to truck in order tor each its final destination;
  • LTL truck and Van short distance movement of freight, including a regional metropolitan distribution function.

The Tambo Springs Logistics Gateway, therefore, capitalizes both on rail and road transportation modes with a focus on the increased movement of long-distance freight by sprinter rail.

The competitive advantage of the development is to be able to offer from the outset, both a traditional rail solution to and from Durban harbour on an efficient basis and the sprinter rail solution to and from Ngqura. At the same time, the development will strategically be positioned for long term sustainability in that, once the envisaged new Dig Out port in Durban starts becoming a reality, it will be possible to implement a sprinter rail service between Durban and Tambo Springs.

The creation of a twinned Inland Port/Logistic’s Gateway network creates the opportunity for a multinational corporation both to serve the metropolitan (Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal) markets and those in emerging SADC countries.
The Economist quotes Foreign Direct Investment in Africa over the period 2000 to 2004 increasing from $10 billion to $88 billion. This is in addition to the revenues of Africa's 500 largest companies (excluding the banks) growing at an average of 8.3% p.a.

A focus on Africa with its emerging markets is therefore facilitated by making use of this network of port locations which meet common standards in terms of operations, security, and quality.

This is in addition to creating a transportation network for the efficient cross-border movement of freight, including customs and security preclearance of freight utilizing secure and bonded block trains.

By this means multinational corporations can both benefit from access to the more developed African markets while having a focus on the emerging markets on the continent.

It is an essential component of the Tambo Springs Logistics Gateway that it is twinned with both the O.R. Tambo International Airport and the Aerotropolis platform. This is paramount for the movement of time critical cargo, including movement on a secure and bonded basis.

Currently, Tambo Springs, which is located 25 km from the Airport, is linked to it indirectly via road. GDRT have plans, which are at an advanced stage, to construct the PWV15 highway within the next 3 years which will provide a direct link.

Given the strategic importance of having the ability to move time-critical goods between Tambo Springs and O.R. Tambo airport on a secure and bonded basis, engagement is underway with SARS to allow this based on electronic track and trace technology and protocols in terms of tracking truck movement and container security.