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Port operations were mostly affected by bad weather, equipment failures, and shortages. This week, strong winds in Cape Town resulted in significant operating delays, and equipment failures and occupied tugs in Durban delayed many vessel operations. Most delays in the Eastern Cape were caused by severe winds and high surf. Towards the conclusion of the week, the Durban helicopter was withdrawn from duty, but the floating crane was gladly put back into operation. The Newlyn PX Bayhead rail terminal, which is ideally situated close to the Port of Durban and aims to improve intra-African and local trade as well as provide new investment opportunities, was also revealed this week by port logistics company The Newlyn Group.

Key Notes:

  • An average of ~8 061 containers was handled per day, with ~7 876 containers projected for next week.
  • Cross-border queue: ↓0,1 hrs; transit: ↓0,6 hrs; SA borders: ~11,6 hrs (↓22%); SADC borders: ~7,1 hrs (↓10%).
  • Rail cargo handled out of Durban was reported at 2 249 containers, down by ↓2% from last week.
  • Global reefer capacity has grown significantly since last year, particularly MSC (↑20%) and ONE (↑23%).
  • Global freight rates have again decreased this week – by ↓3,2% (or $93) to $2 836 per 40-ft container.
  • Global air cargo growth continues with a third month of double-digit expansion, with CTKs up by ↑11,9%.

Port operations – General:

  • Poor weather conditions and equipment breakdowns and shortages mainly characterised port operations.
  • Strong winds caused extensive operational delays in Cape Town this week, while several vessel movements were delayed in Durban due to occupied tugs and equipment breakdowns.
  • High swells coupled with strong winds constituted the majority of delays in the Eastern Cape.
  • The Durban helicopter went out of service towards the end of the week, while the floating crane made a welcome return to service.
  • In addition, port logistics company, The Newlyn Group, unveiled the Newlyn PX Bayhead rail terminal this week, which is strategically located next to the Port of Durban and is aimed at enhancing intra-Africa- and local trade as well as generating new investment opportunities.

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