RAIL, ROAD & INTERMODAL

The Tambo Springs initiative 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 inland port with other seaport, inland and cross border locations. The connectivity i.r.o. these twinned locations is achieved via sea, rail, road and air linkages, ideally involving seamless movement of freight between modes.

The Tambo Springs development incorporates a next generation inland port with a state of the art rail terminal facility designed to be developed in phases, with an ultimate capacity of 1 m TEU'S p.a., as well as, a sprinter freight land bridge. The key elements are as follows:-

Direct Traditional Rail Link To Durban Harbour

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 inland port due to its location;
  • improved efficiency of port operations;
  • having the facility serviced by improved rolling stock commissioned by Transnet.

Sprinter Freight Rail Link To Ngqura Harbour In the Coega IDZ (Port Elizabeth)

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 port 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 as opposed to the current 3 to 5 days service level achieved at City Deep. This is to be achieved by capitalizing on the creation of high efficiency intermodal activities integrated with the port functions and feeder network.

Truck Freight Movement

The Tambo Springs Inland Port 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 inland port 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 inland port;
  • 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 next generation inland port therefore capitalizes both on rail and road transportation modes with a focus on 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.

Intermodal Movement

In order to achieve seamless intermodal movement of freight between sea, rail, road and air transport, it is essential to link Tambo Springs with other inland port and hub locations. The creation of such a twinned Inland Port Network provides a means to effectively participate in the Global Supply Chain in a manner which optimizes both existing and new facilities to enhance capacity. Hence, for example, Tambo Springs would be linked to City Deep via rail and road linkages and to other hub locations in Gauteng and elsewhere.

A principle element of this approach is to create an efficient transportation service between all the individual entry/exit ports providing an improved level of service over and above that provided by a traditional network. The key to this is to rethink existing processes with a focus on efficiency savings in terms of the inbound and outbound process flow at Tambo Springs. This has been incorporated into the operational concept and addresses both operational and customs and regulatory efficiency issues as part of the supply chain.

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