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This week’s port operations were mostly characterized by system difficulties, unfavorable weather, and equipment shortages. Towards the conclusion of the week, Durban’s primary operational constraints were equipment malfunctions and network issues, while the Port of Cape Town experienced a windbound situation for over 22 hours. It makes sense that TPT said that, starting on February 1 and ending on March 31, 2023, boats with a discharge volume more than 2,000 containers will be able to extend their import-free storage days at DCT Pier 2 to 4,25 days. The original pilot boat at the Port of Ngqura is still out of commission, however in the interim, activities along the sea are being serviced by an external pilot boat. Additionally, throughout the weekend, there was a derailment between Pier 1 and the rear of the port, which had an effect on operations.

Key Notes:

  • An average of ~7 507 containers was handled per day, with ~8 593 containers projected for next week.
  • Rail cargo handled out of Durban amounted to 2 441 containers, up ↑7% from last week.
  • Cross-border queue times were ↑0,2 hours (w/w), with transit times ↓2,4 hours (w/w); SA borders decreased by ~1,1 hours, averaging ~10,9 hours (↓9%); Other SADC borders averaged ~6,3 hours (↓29%).
  • Global schedule reliability decreased by ↓5,0% (m/m); the average delay for late vessel arrivals is 5,35 days.
  • Global freight rates have again decreased by ↓3,5% (or $140) to $3 824 per 40-ft container.
  • Global air cargo traffic saw a notable annual increase of ↑10,8% in December – the most since 2021.

Port operations – General:

  • Port operations this week were mainly characterised by equipment breakdowns and shortages, adverse weather conditions, and system challenges.
  • The Port of Cape Town went windbound for more than 22 hours towards the end of the week, while equipment breakdowns and network challenges proved to be the main operational constraints in Durban.
  • Plausibly, TPT announced that the import-free storage days at DCT Pier 2 will be extended to 4,25 days from 1 February until 31 March 2023 for vessels with a discharge volume greater than 2 000 containers.
  • The Port of Ngqura’s original pilot boat remains out of service; however, an outsourced pilot boat is being used in the interim to service waterside activities.
  • Furthermore, a derailment occurred between Pier 1 and the back of the port over the weekend, which impacted operations accordingly.

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