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This week’s port operations were characterized by unfavourable weather, frequent equipment shortages and breakdowns, the SANTACO strike, and intense traffic. The SANTACO strike action this week overshadowed operational performance at the Port of Cape Town, while the Eastern Cape ports, regrettably, were unable to escape the grip of unfavourable weather during the first few days of the week. Earlier this week, the Port of Durban was placed back under “Port Congestion Watch” because more than 24 000 TEUs were stranded at the outer anchorage and the port helicopter was still out of commission. According to industry reports, DCT should prepare for high reefer volumes over the next two weeks as citrus exporters hurry to supply EU markets with oranges and other citrus products before they close. Early this week, the NCT mooring master’s repairs were finished; however, there have been no updates regarding the testing of the devices. A new region of the train network was also attacked earlier this week when cable theft and vandalism took place on the line close to Capital Park in Pretoria. Similar to this, the Jonkershoek and Sentrarand regions of the Container Corridor experienced two significant cable theft incidents.

Key Notes:

  • An average of ~8 126 containers was handled per day, with ~10 041 containers projected for next week.
  • Rail cargo handled out of Durban amounted to 2 329 containers, ↑18% compared to last week.
  • Cross-border queue times were ↓1,1 hours (w/w), with transit times ↓3,2 hours (w/w); SA borders decreased by three hours, averaging ~9,6 hours (↓30%); Other SADC borders averaged ~7,5 hours (↓32%).
  • CTS container throughput in June (dry & reefer) is down by ↓1,0% (m/m) and down by ↓1,4% (y/y).
  • Global freight rates increased again this week and are up by ↑1,7% (or $30) to $1 791 per 40ft.
  • Total worldwide reefer cargo declined to 137,5 million tonnes in 2022 – a fall of ↓0,7% (y/y).
  • Global air cargo demand fell by ↓3,4% (y/y) in June, while capacity is still up by ↑9,9% (y/y).

Port operations – General:

  • This week, port operations were characterised by adverse weather conditions, continuous equipment breakdowns and shortages, the SANTACO strike, and severe congestion.
  • Operational performance at the Port of Cape Town was overshadowed by the SANTACO strike action this week, while the Eastern Cape ports, unfortunately, could not escape the clutches of adverse weather during the early stages of the week.
  • Elsewhere, the Port of Durban returned to the “Port Congestion Watch” earlier this week with more than 24 000 TEUs stuck at outer anchorage while the port helicopter still has not returned to service.
  • Industry reports suggest that DCT should anticipate high reefer volumes over the next two weeks as citrus exporters will rush to feed EU markets before they close for oranges and other citrus products.
  • The repairs on the Mooring master at NCT were completed earlier this week; however, no updates have been received yet regarding the testing of the units.
  • Additionally, during the earlier stages of the week, a new area on the rail network was targeted as cable theft and vandalism occurred on the line near Capital Park in Pretoria.
  • Similarly, the Container Corridor was impacted by two major cable theft incidents, specifically in the Jonkershoek and Sentrarand areas.

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