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A daily average of 7 840 containers were handled, and 10 698 containers are anticipated for the next week. According to TNPA statistics, containers increased by 8% month over month in June but decreased year over year by 9% and YTD by 4%. The total bulk cargo is up almost 50% (m/m) compared to May, although it is down around 6% (y/y). All bulk sectors are up. 2 471 containers worth of rail cargo were handled out of Durban last week, down 6% from the previous week. Cross-border wait times were 0 minutes (week to week), while transit times were 1 minute (week to week). SA borders decreased by two minutes, averaging 12 minutes (a 15% decrease), while other SADC crossings averaged 10,2 minutes (a 4% decrease). Global reliability for shippers is, on average, 4–8% poorer than it was prior to the epidemic. Finally defying the trend, global freight prices increased this week by 0,9% (or $14) to $1 488 per 40ft. This week, the demand for international air freight fell by 4% (week over week), with prices hovering around $2,33 per kg.

Key Notes:

  • An average of ~7 840 containers was handled per day, with ~10 698 containers projected for next week.
  • TNPA stats for June: containers are up by ↑8% (m/m) but down by ↓9% (y/y) and down YTD by ↓4,5% (y/y).
  • All bulk sectors are up versus May; total bulk cargo is up by ↑50% (m/m) but down by ↓6% (y/y).
  • Rail cargo handled out of Durban amounted to 2 471 containers, ↑6% compared to last week.
  • Cross-border queue times were ↓0,1 hours (w/w), with transit times ↓1,0 hours (w/w); SA borders decreased by two hours – averaging ~12 hours (↓15%); Other SADC borders averaged ~10,2 hours (↑4%).
  • Shippers are experiencing global reliability by a weighted average of 4-8% worse than pre-pandemic.
  • Global freight rates finally bucked the trend and are up by ↑0,9% (or $14) to $1 488 per 40ft this week.
  • Global air cargo demand further decreased – this week by ↓4% (w/w), with rates around $2,33 per kg.

Port operations – General:

  • Port operations this week were characterised by adverse weather, persistent equipment breakdowns and shortages, congestion, and load-shedding.
  • Load-shedding returned primarily to the Maydon Wharf precinct as stage-6 made its unwelcome return.
  • Weather conditions in Cape Town improved this week; however, the latest reports suggest that berthing delays for the latest vessel arrivals go up to four days, while delays for older arrivals stretch to nine and ten days.
  • The Port of Durban’s marine fleet operated with four tugs for most of the week before returning to a complement of five tugs on Friday.
  • The Port of Richards Bay seemingly received a “stop-order” on Friday because port regulations were not followed.
  • Furthermore, a cable theft incident on the rail network near Lions River in the early hours of Wednesday morning ensured that the movement of locomotives was halted.

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