State-owned Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has doubled the capacity available to transport grain from Bethlehem, in the Free State, by rail to the country’s ports for export. The State-owned freight utility plans to move 550 000 t of export grain this season – which will be a 133% increase on the 235 826 t moved in the prior season.
This season’s expected load is equivalent to taking about 16 100 trucks off the road, which will have a material impact on easing road congestion in the Port of Durban precinct. The export grain season started in April and runs until September, with a notable peak in activity in June and July.
The export tailing will incrementally ramp up from the current average of 10 000 t a week to 28 000 t a week by the end of May. TFR plans to run between 15 and 20 export grain trains a week from Bethlehem to the Port of Durban. The utility aims to further increase rail capacity by the time the 2022 grain export season comes.