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Transnet Engineering’s Ports Business

With the development of Transnet Engineering's (TE's) capabilities over the past decade, it became apparent that this organisation has the engineering and maintenance competencies to service not only the Group's railway services, but, in fact, any of the Transnet Group's manufacturing, engineering or maintenance requirements. This development resulted in the forming of the Ports Business, which continues to grow vigorously.

On April 1, 2014, a decision was taken to merge TE's existing Auxiliary Business into the Ports Business, which now offers a wide range of facilities and services.
The handling of 200-million tonnes of cargo annually through South Africa's seven major seaports entails the use of machinery and equipment, all of which needs to be repaired, refurbished, and on occasions, new equipment needs to be designed and manufactured to improve efficiency.
TE has been growing its services to Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) and has been able to provide much needed maintenance services to much of TPT's existing machinery and equipment such as:
o           Dolly trailers
o           Electric motors
o           SISU engines
o           Gear boxes
o           Grabs
o           Rail-mounted gantries
o           Rubber-tyred gantries
o           Ship-to-shore 
o           Straddle carriers
o           Trailers
o           Grab carrier trolleys.
The demands of maritime trade are ever changing. For this reason, TPT has looked to TE Ports for innovative solutions to cargo handling challenges. This has seen the TE team providing engineering and technical support to TPT and Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) from a design and development aspect as well as technical support.
This relatively new team has already played a leading role in the design and development of the following new products to solve materials handling challenges:
o           60-ton bathtub semi-trailers
o           90-ton multi-purpose trailers
o           20, 25 and 40ton skips
o           61 ton trailers
o           Car-rack systems
o           Car-loading ramps
The Centralised Auxiliary Logistics (CAL) service provides transportation for all of TE's businesses around the country, organising suitable transport for the collection and delivery of components/material on demand from the TE businesses according to their specifications, ensuring that products reach the customers timeously.
CAL runs a highly efficient import/export operation into Africa to support the growing demand of the expanding import/export market as local manufacturing ramps up.
The Ports Business also handles TE’s scrap metal sales. A manufacturing and refurbishing business such as TE generates large quantities of valuable scrap metal. For example, when wheels are scrapped they contain high-quality metal,. Understanding the value of these metals and achieving the best price adds considerably to the company's bottom line.
For many years, TE has assisted Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) in the preparation of wagons by fitting and securing tarpaulins to them. The section will also seal wagons to prevent freight losses. Working in PVC impregnated fabric, the Auxiliary section manufactures products such as:
o           Railway and road transportation tarpaulins
o           ISO freight container tarpaulins
o           Other PVC products to customer specifications
o           Rail and road containers.
While in service, freight wagons may become contaminated with various substances, such as chemicals or normal dirt. The Ports Business team can ensure wagons are properly prepared for transportation assignments. This preparation includes, where appropriate, dry cleaning and when needed, wet cleaning.
A growth area for this section has been its services to users of freight containers. Once containers have been used, often they need either to be repaired or cleaned. The commodities that have been transported in them often leave the container contaminated and unfit for further use.
The section offers Transnet Freight Rail as well as shipping/logistics companies a complete container restoration service in preparation for the containers' next duty cycles. By using this service, shippers can ensure that their clients' consignment reach their destinations in pristine condition.
At TFR's Belcon empty-container depot, the Ports Business cleans containers, reefers and boxes and carries out pre trip inspections and certification. The section's pass rate at Bellville is 92%.
Extending its range of containers services, the Ports Business now also manufactures containers in any of the standard sizes. More recently, the section has started manufacturing customised containers such as ones adapted for bottom-discharge or for coal transportation.
Its trimming service, which primarily produces upholstery and trimming for passenger coach seats, trim/décor in railway coaches and loco driver seating for services such as Metrorail and Blue Train.
The trimming shops work in a variety of materials, ranging from leather, vinyl and fibre products. With its extensive experience in this field, it is able to procure the best quality materials for its customers.
This complex and diverse business strives for continuous improvement in its services to the sectors its serves by providing cutting edge technological solutions while managing costs.
In completing ongoing large-scale contracts for major customers such as Transnet Freight Rail and Transnet Port Terminals, the constant improvement of technological capacity and expertise is both indispensable and unmistakably evident.




Strategic Focus and Position

The short term focus is to set up and invest in building capacity to deal with the current maintenance, refurbishment, production and fabrication demand countrywide. One of the key focus areas is to employ staff from the pool of unemployed South Africans, develop skills through training and development. Secondly, employ the existing technology to optimise the efficiency of our processes, improve quality and improve turn around time in delivering products and services. To grow the business while spreading National Business Ports services to the total ports operations demand and continue to excel in Engineering services.


The Port business is Transnet Engineering’s newest business unit and it provides industry specific services to South Africa’s ports.

The establishment of a separate port business allows the unit to focus specifically on port-related products and provide various services such as refurbishments and repairs of electric motors.