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Even with some excellent work from TPT, unfavorable weather, equipment failures and continuous shortages, as well as labor disputes, continued to hinder port operations this week. In Cape Town, dense fog and labor disputes were the main operational roadblocks. At the same time, due to occupied and inadequate marine resources, the Morning Celesta experienced a 12-hour delay in Durban. The preferred bidder to construct and run a liquid bulk terminal at the port that specializes in bunker fuels is FFS Tank Terminal (Pty) Ltd, according to the Richards Bay TNPA.

Key Notes:

  • An average of ~8 724 containers was handled per day, with ~8 818 containers projected for next week.
  • Rail cargo handled out of Durban amounted to 2 092 containers, down ↓14% from last week.
  • Cross-border queue times were ↑1,1 hours (w/w), with transit times ↓0,5 hours (w/w); SA borders decreased by ~0,3 hours, averaging ~10,6 hours (↓3%); Other SADC borders averaged ~5,9 hours (↓6%).
  • Global container volume (dry & reefer) is up by ↑3,3% (m/m) & ↑7,2% (y/y), but only up by ↑0,3% YTD.
  • Global freight rates have again decreased this week – by ↓1,0%, or $38 to $3 786 per 40-ft container.
    • International air cargo figures reflect a ↑15% increase in tonnages compared to January 2023.

Port operations – General:

  • Despite some commendable performance by TPT, port operations this week were still constrained by challenges relating to adverse weather conditions, equipment breakdowns and ongoing shortages, as well as union engagements.
  • Dense fog and union engagements were the most prominent operational constraints in Cape
    Town.
  • At the same time, the Morning Celesta was delayed in Durban for approximately 12 hours due to occupied and unavailable marine resources.
  • TNPA in Richards Bay has announced FFS Tank Terminal (Pty) Ltd as the preferred bidder to develop and operate a liquid bulk terminal specialising in bunker fuels at the port.

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