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In the fourth quarter of 2020 it became evident that a combination of low port efficiency, and the increased frequency of high winds in the Cape Town port were having a negative impact on the flow of vessels through the port.

In response to this Deutsche Afrika-Linien (DAL) had to implement various contingencies in an effort to mitigate the impact on the schedule integrity of our service. The high levels of wind have not abated and information shared by the port indicates a higher-than-normal level of wind for 2021.

Port infrastructure and compromised levels of operational efficiency in the port have further exacerbated delays. This has meant that for the past 2 months, there has been anywhere from 4 to 9 vessels waiting outside the port to berth; experiencing a delay of between 8 to 12 days on average.

These delays have had a marked impact on both the schedule integrity and operating costs of the service. Although the 9 ships in our service already operate at the highest possible speed on the legs between Europe and South Africa, this increased speed has been insufficient to bring the ships back on schedule.

In consequence we face late arrivals in Europe as well as port omissions in Europe and South Africa. This has left DAL with no option but to bypass Cape Town on our Southbound voyages in 2021. We acknowledge and appreciate the impact that these by-passes have on you and your customers; it is certainly not in our interest to bypass Cape Town. The fact that we do, serves to confirm the seriousness of the delays in the Cape Town port.

DAL daily monitors the Cape Town port situation and can assure you that we will re-introduce our Cape Town Southbound call as soon as it is feasible to do so. Please see the links below; these are for two articles that were published in the FTW publication in regards the Cape Town delays. wind
Far East – New Export Misdeclartion Fee_MSC Customer Advisory.pdf

Kind Regards,
DAL Deutsche Afrika-Linien GmbH & Co. KG