Behind the scenes: Dube Cargo Trade Terminal Port

Every week we welcome talented bloggers to capture what Threads, the Business of Fashion Accelerator Program is all about. They play a key role in engaging with industry related discussions and get an exclusive insiders look on the program. Our KwaZulu-Natal Field Trip was joined by Lifestyle blogger, Chloe Farley.

On the 20th of March, the Threads entrepreneurs got to visit the Dube Cargo Trade Terminal Port Special Economic Zone (SEZ) as a part of their Durban field trip. The Dube Cargo Trade Terminal Port SEZ is considered an ‘aerotropolis’ or an ‘airport city’ and holds many unique business opportunities for both entrepreneurs and their companies, a fact that the entrepreneurs soon learn during their visit.

First, the entrepreneurs received an enlightening introduction to the Dube Trade Port by Taryn Muller. The entrepreneurs learnt that the terminal is a particularly important component to South Africa’s trade sector. “We handle international cargo and run all the import and export of the cargo in South Africa,” says Muller. The Dube Trade Port is a provincial project and is therefore funded by a provincial treasury. The Dube (SEZ) is home to the Shaka International Airport, central to Durban’s areotropolis. It is currently on its way to owning over 3000 hectors of land, which it has already begun to rent out to business owners, allowing entrepreneurs to erect the necessary buildings and infrastructure on a strategic and secure location in order to further their businesses.

Dube TradePort - Business of Fashion in Africa

Renting out land on Dube’s (SEZ) offers numerous benefits for entrepreneurs and business owners. It sits on an extremely strategic location, allowing connectivity to over 700 international locations. Another major benefit is that it receives major government support. “Building here will allow you to have a direct line with trade industry,” says Muller. Other incentives to building on Dube’s (SEZ) include competitive rates, reduced corporate income tax rates, enhanced 12i tax incentives, a building allowance, a customs controlled area and employment incentives. According to Muller, qualifying Dube (SEZ) enterprises typically fall in the following categories: aerospace and aviation-linked manufacturing services, agriculture and agri-processing, electronics manufacturing and assembly, media and pharmaceutical production and distribution, automotive component manufacturing, and of course clothing and textile manufacturing and distribution.


After Muller’s introduction, the Threads entrepreneurs then got to listen to a talk by Ricardo Isaac, manager of the Dube Terminal. He emphasized speed and safety when describing the running of the of the terminal. “The key feature of this terminal is that it was designed and built with security in mind,” says Isaac. The Dube Terminal Port (SEZ) has an accomplished track record when it comes to safety. During the 8 years that this terminal has been running, there has not been one single incidence of theft. This is an extremely important fact worth noting when considering that even though air may only make up 3% of total trade, it transports 35% of the world’s total trade value. In other words, air transports a lower volume of goods but these goods tend to be more expensive. “That’s the nature of consumerism,” says Isaac, when describing why many individuals will not wait weeks for their expensive iPhones or high-end clothing to be delivered via ship. Therefore, it is important that the Dube terminal not only ensures the safety and integrity of consumers’ products, but also that it ensures that these products are delivered on time.

The entrepreneurs’ morning presentation with Dube CargoTrade Terminal concluded with a talk by Emirates Sky Cargo representative, Kubendran Pillay. Dube Cargo Trade Terminal Port (SEZ) can be compared to Dubai’s Emirates Sky Central in terms of connectivity. Due to Dubai’s central location, they are able to fly to over 152 destinations and meet more than one-third of the world’s population within 6 hours. The Dude Trade Port is one of Emirates’ service providers. “Dube shares our vision, we want the same thing. That is why we partnered with them,” says Pillay. Besides Dube Cargo Port sharing a similar but smaller scale layout to Emirates Sky Central, Dube’s responsible practices also make them a highly desired service provider for major companies such as Emirates Sky Central to collaborate with. For every 1 hectare Dube takes over for its aerotropolis, they work towards transforming 3 hectares of sugarcane back to Durban’s indigenous coastal forest. Additionally, Dube’s proven track record of transporting a wide range of extremely heavy goods such as heavy machinery and exotic cars also allowed them to develop a sector that specializes in safely transporting large game. This allowed them to transport rhinos and other animals being threatened by poachers to the safety of northern African countries.

The visit to the Dube Cargo Trade Terminal Port Special Economic Zone enlightened the Threads entrepreneurs not only to the unique and trusted services they offer, but also gave them a greater understating of how they can better manage their own import/export and local delivery services. The Dube Trade Port is an efficient and trusted service available to all South African entrepreneurs. A special thank you to them for providing information on the services they offer and for inviting the Thread’s team to an inside look at their impeccably run operations. 
A South African girl who has a passion for informing and connecting others to information that aims to better the readers lives.