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Average daily container handling was 7 001, and 9 141 containers are anticipated for the coming week. 2 330 containers worth of rail cargo were handled out of Durban last week, down 12% from the previous week. Cross-border wait times were 0 minutes (w/w), while transit durations were 1 minute (w/w). Wait times at SA crossings increased by almost an hour, averaging 15 minutes (6%, w/w), while wait times at other SADC countries were 9 minutes on average. May’s CTS container throughput (dry and reefer) increased by 5,2% (m/m) but decreased by 3,0% (y/y). By 2023, container deliveries are anticipated to total 2,2 million TEU, greatly increasing the current surplus. Rates for 40-foot containers around the world are currently down 1,3% (or $20) this week. In terms of industry-wide tonne-kilometres, the demand for air cargo globally was down 5.2% year over year in May.

Key Notes :

  • An average of ~7 001 containers was handled per day, with ~9 141 containers projected for next week.
  • Rail cargo handled out of Durban amounted to 2 330 containers, ↑12% compared to last week.
  • Cross-border queue times were ↑0,5 hours (w/w), with transit times ↓1,0 hours (w/w); SA borders increased by almost an hour – averaging ~15,2 hours (↑6%, w/w); Other SADC borders averaged ~9,8 hours.
  • CTS container throughput in May (dry & reefer) is up by ↑5,2% (m/m) and down by ↓3,0% (y/y).
  • Container deliveries are set to reach 2,2 million TEU in 2023 and significantly add to the over-supply.
  • Global container rates keep dropping by ↓1,3% (or $20) to $1 474 per 40 ft this week.
  • Global air cargo demand (measured in industry-wide tonne-kilometres) was ↓5,2% (y/y) in May.

Port operations – General :

  • Port operations this week were characterised by adverse weather, persistent equipment breakdowns and shortages, congestion, and COSATU’s National Day of Action.
  • For the most significant part of the week, Cape Town experienced some favourable weather conditions but could unfortunately not clear the existing backlog.
  • Over the weekend, the Port of Port Elizabeth also joined the “Port Congestion Watch”, with a high queue-to-berth ratio of 4,36.
  • Fortunately, no significant incidents were reported on the rail network this week; however, DCTs Pier 1 was forced to cease rail operations briefly due to congestion in the terminal.
  • Furthermore, the only terminal that reported a staff shortage on COSATUs National Day of Action was DCTs Pier 2, with 50% staff attendance on the landside and 75% on the waterside.

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