Logistics -Transportation 

Providing efficient, cost-effective port, terminal and logistics services pays healthy dividends

REPORTING on the company’s financial results for the year ended December 31, 2022, Grindrod Limited posted R1.1 billion in headline earnings, up 37% on the prior period.

The port exported a record 10 million tonnes, up 29% from the prior period. Grindrod’s terminals also handled a record 16 million tonnes, up 23% from the prior period. Grindrod has returned in excess of R600 million to shareholders in dividends.

From its head office in Durban, Grindrod manages a network of representatives, subsidiaries, joint ventures and associated companies in 22 countries. Grindrod Limited sold its shares in its founding company, Grindrod Shipping Holdings in 2021 and disposed of Grindrod Bank to African Bank in 2022. Now the JSE-listed company concentrates solely on ports, terminals and logistics.

Port and terminals

Record volume growth in the Port of Maputo was underpinned by its rehabilitated berths, expanded slabs, new handling equipment, upgraded rail wagon discharge facility and a 24-hour border operation.

Grindrod’s record performance contribution came from its Matola facility, which handled 8.1 million tonnes, and Maputo coal terminal, which grew its volume nearly 5-fold to 3.2 million tonnes.

The company reported that Richards Bay and Namibia also recorded strong volume growth. Volume growth at Richards Bay was 7% where the company’s terminals are fully-functional.

A quarter of the company’s total volume was through Richards Bay. Only two RBCT customers export directly through the company, the balance of the volume is for other coal customers.

Grindrod provided access to the export market to seven emerging miners, with a combined tonnage of 3.2 million tonnes across its facilities in Richards Bay, Durban and Maputo.

Logistics

Grindrod Limited said it was pleased with the implementation of the joint venture with Maersk, which became operational on January 1, 2023. Plans are afoot to integrate and grow this solution for customers.

The joint venture brings together operational expertise, skills, and capabilities and has increased the infrastructural capacity and geographical footprint. The service offering incorporates transportation by road, rail, or sea, warehousing, container depots, and traditional logistics.

The company took advantage of the strong shipping rates on its charter subleases which contributed markedly to the coastal shipping and container depot results. It expanded its Denver container facility in Johannesburg by adding 75 000 sqm of container handling yard. This facility is strategic in the company’s quest to provide an efficient solution for container volume between Durban and Johannesburg.

Grindrod is establishing two new intermodal sites in Durban. One is a replacement of an existing site where the lease is expiring while the other is for growth. The company is also implementing a long-haul transport offering from Gauteng to KwaZulu Natal for container cargo. The long-haul offering is along the DBN – JHB – DBN corridor by road (and rail where possible) to support the strategy of offering clients an end-to-end supply chain solution.

Grindrod also announced that it has joined forces with Ntiso Logistics as its business partner in its South African operations. Ntiso Logistics is a subsidiary company of Ntiso Investment Holdings founded by the executive chairman, Mcebisi Jonas.

“We are relentless in remaining relevant to our existing customer base and attractive to new customers looking for the most efficient and cost-effective route to market. We have committed people and strategically positioned infrastructure to craft unique and bespoke solutions for our customers,” says Xolani Mbambo, CEO of Grindrod Limited.

About Maputo Port Mozambique

Maputo Port handles a variety of cargo including minerals, grains, sugar, vehicles, bulk liquid containers and general cargo. It is a transit port. 80% of the cargo handled is delivered by road and rail from neighbouring countries such as South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Grindrod has upgraded the port and infrastructure significantly, including the dredging of the access channel, new equipment and refurbishment of berths, and landside facilities. Advancements to the port have created substantial growth in port activities from the 5 million tonnes handled at the start of the concession in 2003.

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