SILVERTON, Pretoria, May 14th, 2008 – Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) opened its own railway siding recently. The move will result in greater efficiency and reduced freight costs for FMCSA, with shipments from Port Elizabeth coming directly to the Silverton Plant.
“The project has been in progress for the last 12 months,” says Paul Allday, General Manager: MP& L for FMCSA. “We recently completed the infrastructure and the service level agreements with Transnet Freight Rail, Safmarine and SATI, our container yard service provider, allowing us to begin utilising the railway siding.”
The railway siding is a section of the track that breaks away from the main line and allows containers to be railed directly from Port Elizabeth to Silverton, eliminating the need to cross-haul containers by road from an off-site depot. In future FMCSA will also utilise the siding for loading export units for shipment onto trains, either in containers or on specialised car carriers. This siding will further ease FMCSA’s ability to deliver vehicles to their customers.
“The siding will play a big role in reducing freight costs for both inbound and outbound logistics. It will also reduce our dependency on road freight at a time when South Africa’s road infrastructure is under increasing pressure,” continues Allday.
Ford has already received its first locomotive at the siding and is gearing up to full scale utilisation of the facility.
“The project has been a long time in the making and we are pleased to now be able to open the Ford siding to incoming freight. We expect that the benefits of the project will be long felt particularly as we gear up for new production contracts,” concludes Allday.