New Gateway set to revolutionise Gauteng’s freight services.

Inframax Holdings, the Cape based property developers who operate nationally, are making use of a vast tract of land which they acquired some years ago to develop a “next generation” inland logistics gateway to service Johannesburg, Gauteng and Southern Africa

Inframax MD, Dr Willie Els, says that the project has the potential to put Gauteng’s entire logistics capability into a new and far more efficient era and to create thousands of jobs whilst simulator 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 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 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 Jo 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. Inframe add at least a further 600ha to this site in time, which would enable it lobe 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 large GDP in Africa,”

Inframax has commissioned CAPP Architects and Urban Planners and the internationally recognised logistics consultants, Franco Eleuteri and Associates, to help them structure the concept at 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 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 Id 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 where have expanded fast.”

“Typically,” says Els, “the original logistics centres were developed on what was then the periphery of the cities. Over the years, however, these cities grow and absorb the centres, making expansion upgrading to accommodate new demands difficult.”

This, he says, is more or less what is happening to Johannesburg’s City Deep Terminal, which was established in 1977 as a bonded inland container depot where containers from Durban could customs in Johannesburg.

“City Deep still has a vital role to play but the time has come to have it operating in tandem with a larger inland port or ports located on the new city periphery and able to accommodate a large intermodal capability for road, rail and air transport. This is fundamental to any 21st Century freight operation.”

In choosing a site for a new next generation inland port there is, says Els, a checklist of factors which have to be in place before it can be considered — and Tambo Springs scores exceptionally a list.

Read the full extract from EProp of June 2010

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