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This week’s port operations were mostly hampered by bad weather, traffic jams, malfunctioning equipment, and shortages. Strong winds and heavy fog caused over 20 operational hours to be lost in Cape Town this week, while unfavorable weather, dredging, and equipment malfunctions caused operations in Durban to be disrupted. Our ports in the Eastern Cape were delayed due to strong winds and equipment malfunctions, and the Port of Richards Bay also had some rainy weather at the beginning of the week. While the Port of Durban ran with three to four tugs for the majority of the week, fifteen hauliers are scheduled to arrive at the Port of Cape Town by the end of the month to support the current fleet. In addition, the second line that was impacted by the incident remains inoperable and no ETR has been issued as of yet.

Key Notes:

  • An average of ~8 245 containers was handled per day, with ~8 090 containers projected for next week.
  • Cross-border queue: ↓0,3 hrs; transit: ↓1,1 hrs; SA borders: 11,2 hrs (↓5%); SADC borders: 3,4 hrs (↓26%).
  • Rail cargo handled out of Durban was reported at 2 483 containers, up ↑22% from last week.
  • World merchandise trade has rebounded and is expected to grow by ↑2,6% in 2024 and ↑3,3% in 2025
  • Global freight rates have increased by another significant ↑11,1% (or $352) to $3 511 per 40-ft container.
  • Total global air cargo tonnages were stable despite regional variations (Africa was down by ↓1%).

Port operations – General:

  • Port operations this week were primarily constrained by adverse weather, congestion, equipment breakdowns and shortages.
  • Over 20 operational hours were conceded in Cape Town this week due to strong winds and dense fog, while adverse weather conditions, dredging, and equipment breakdowns disrupted operations in Durban.
  • Strong winds and equipment breakdowns caused delays at our Eastern Cape ports, while the Port of Richards Bay also experienced some rainy weather at the start of the week.
  • 15 hauliers are set to arrive at the Port of Cape Town by the end of the month to aid the existing fleet, while the Port of Durban operated with 3-to 4 tugs for the most significant part of the week.
  • Furthermore, the second line affected by the derailment is still out of commission with no ETR communicated yet.

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