Cold storage facility
opens for business
in South African port
Oct 15, 2009 10:06 AM
One of South Africa’s most technologically advanced cold storage facilities, built by Transnet at a cost of 45 million rands, was officially launched at the Cape Town Multipurpose Terminal recently, with a firm commitment from port operator Transnet Port Terminals to add value to fresh produce exporters throughout the Western Cape and beyond.
Construction of the new, multimillion-rand facility began in November 2007 and was completed in stages. Final commissioning and testing took place earlier in 2009.
This cold storage site is at the Port of Cape Town’s E–Berth, where the draft of about 10.4 meters can handle most conventional vessels. The operation is managed by Beyers Pape.
While the high-tech facility was introduced as a fruit-only storage facility and handled citrus, grapes, and small consignments of avocadoes, it has since broadened its services to offer storage facilities for all perishable goods.
Hannes Human, business unit executive at Cape Town MPT, said the facility features 24-hour monitoring of the entire cold system and tracking of all cargo under protection of the Paltrack tracking system. Continuous quality inspections are carried out by the Perishable Product Export Control Board.
The facility offers product-specific pre-cooling of conventional palletized cargo to required protocols, containerization of cargo for export, and shipping of cargo directly from cold storage into vessels. It also provides specialized pre-cooling services for fruit sterilization.
The cold storage site’s port-to-road linkages include five loading bays with a turnaround cycle of 10 containers per hour. The facility’s courtyard, adjacent to the cold storage facility, is canopied to ensure safe loading and unloading of cargo during inclement weather.
Port-to-rail connectivity includes a rail siding adjacent to the cold storage site, where palletized fruit is then transferred from or onto internal road transport vehicles for fast delivery.
The facility has three floors, each with cold storage capabilities. The ground floor, which can handle 2,229 pallets, is for storage only; the first floor is for pre-cooling and has a 740-pallet capacity; the second floor, which can handle 486 pallets, is for pre-cooling and storage.
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