WHAT STARTED as a congestion-relieving exercise for the Port of Durban last year, looks to becoming a fixed part of the Port Elizabeth harbour scene.
Equalised rail rates between Gauteng and the two ports for the two months of August and September last year, continued, and have now been recorded in Spoornet CX's price list till March 31 next year.
The still increasing (although slower) number of containers and shipping lines now having nominated PE as a scheduled port-of-call, justifies this continued concession, according to CX assistant manager, Fred Bisschoff.
That, and including the 80 000 boxes that are being diverted to PE as a trouble-saver in Durban this financial year, is one of the Portnet/Spoornet answers to serious congestion again happening.
This division of traffic has to be part of this, Bisschoff said.
He also feels that the pre-Christmas rush should be capably handled this year.
But at least one reader's report from Durban (September 11) - Up to 100 hours delay, and 18 ships at anchor off the harbour -still makes this a chancy bet, with vessel clustering a bit of a dicey thing to forecast accurately in advance.