Major new logistics port mooted for Johannesburg

Set to service Johannesburg, Gauteng and Southern Africa, Inframax MD, Dr Willie Els, says that the project has the potential to put the region’s entire logistics capability into a new and far more efficient era and to create thousands of jobs whilst stimulating the area’s GDP.

“It is,” says Els, “fairly widely thought that Johannesburg’s freight logistics needs have not been fully understood or appreciated by most of the public sector authorities and agencies serving this area over the years.  As a result, the current situation is characterised by excessive use, and wear, of roads by freight operators, dramatic decline in rail usage (due to poor service levels), increased congestion and fragmented freight planning. South Africa’s freight logistics system is not meeting the country’s needs and not keeping up with the way the world is moving.”
The proposed new inland port and logistics gateway, says Els, will contribute significantly to meeting Gauteng’s need to increase the current freight logistics capacity/throughput in and out of Johannesburg, to 3 million TEU’s by 2015 and 4 million TEU’s by 2020 – with further increases thereafter.

The 630ha site for the new project, which will be called Tambo Springs (the original farm here was known as Tamboekiesfontein), is situated 25km southeast of the Johannesburg CBD. Inframax plans to add at least a further 600ha to this site in time, which would enable it to be developed to a world class inland port and logistics facility.
“This,” says Els, “is appropriate as Gauteng is not only the largest metropolitan area in Africa, but is also one of the largest in the world, with a population of 10 million people generating the largest annual GDP in Africa.”

Inframax has commissioned GAPP Architects and Urban Planners and the internationally recognised logistics consultants, Franco Eleuteri and Associates, to help them structure the concept and business plan for Tambo Springs. GAPP, says Els, are a well known local firm who have been acclaimed for such work as the Umhlanga Ridge New Town Centre North of Durban and the Cape Town Waterfront. Eleuteri, who was born and raised in South Africa, is based in Dallas, Texas, and has been involved in the development of Inland Ports, IDZ’s and other logistic centres in Chicago, Dallas Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Monterey in North America. He is also able to draw on experience acquired in similar developments in Asia and Europe.

“One of the things which has become clear from our association with Franco,” says Els, “is that the logistics challenges now faced in Johannesburg/Gauteng have cropped up worldwide wherever cities have expanded fast.”

Read the full extract from of June 2010


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