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Transnet lifts force majeure across all port terminals

Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) said in a statement on Monday afternoon that it has lifted the force majeure it declared in the container sector earlier in October.

It said it has successfully stabilised operational performance and efficiencies across its container handling terminals and they are now ready to return to pre-strike planning of operations.

“With effect from 1 November, all container vessels will be berthed in accordance with the pre-strike berthing window schedules and all containers are to be removed within the free storage period.”

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It declared force majeure on 7 October after most of its employees – represented by the United National Transport Union (Untu) and the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) – embarked on a wage-related strike.

“TPT declared force majeure during the strike when the company’s ability to comply with its contractual obligations was compromised and portions of terminal operations were scaled down,” it said.

It lifted the force majeure declared in the automotive, bulk and multi-purpose terminals on 21 October after workers and the state-owned ports, rail and pipeline company came to an agreement on wage increases and the full workforce returned to work.

Transnet’s move to declare a force majeure as a result of the operational disruptions caused by the industrial action was not well received by industry, which felt the dispute between the state-owned entity and its employees was not reason enough to make the call.

“TPT would like to thank its customers and industry broadly for their support and understanding during this period,” it said, adding that it also thanks its employees “for working tirelessly in clearing the backlog”.

Listen to Petri Redelinghuys discuss why the force majeure made October a good time to buy Thungela and Kumba in this MoneywebNOW podcast with Simon Brown:

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