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A daily average of 7 617 containers were handled, and 9 770 containers are anticipated for the following week. According to TNPA statistics, containers increased by 6% monthly and by 12% annually in May, although volume decreased by 3.5% annually. Both 9% (m/m) and 9% (y/y) less bulk cargo is transported overall. Vehicles have decreased by about 24% (m/m). 2 137 containers worth of rail cargo were handled out of Durban last week, down 12% from the previous week. Transit times were 3,3 hours, and the SA borders took 13,3 hours (22%) longer than average to cross the border. Its lowest point since May 2020, the GEP “Supply Chain Index” decreased in May to -0,28 (from -0,04 in April). This week, the price of a 40-foot container fell by 5% (or $89) globally, to $1 592. The amount of global air cargo climbed by just 1% (w/w), although it is still down by 5% (y/y) from 2023.

Key Notes:

  • An average of ~7 617 containers was handled per day, with ~9 770 containers projected for next week.
  • TNPA stats for May: containers are up by ↑6% (m/m) and up by ↑12% (y/y), but down YTD volume by ↓3,5% (y/y). Total bulk cargo is down by ↓9% (m/m) and↓9% (y/y). Vehicles are down by ↓24% (m/m).
  • Rail cargo handled out of Durban amounted to 2 137 containers, ↓12% compared to last week.
  • Cross-border queue times were ↑1,6 hours, with transit times ↑3,3 hours, SA borders ~13,3 hours (↑22%).
  • The GEP “Supply Chain Index” fell in May to -0,28 (↓ from -0,04 in April), its lowest level since May 2020.
  • Global container rates decreased significantly this week, falling ↓5% (or $89) to $1 592 per 40 ft.
  • Global air cargo increased by a slight ↑1% (w/w) but remains down by ↓5% (y/y) versus 2023.

Port operations – General:

  • Port operations this week were characterised by adverse weather, persistent equipment breakdowns and shortages, vessel ranging, and load-shedding.
  • This week, the Port of Cape Town’s inclusion on the “Port Congestion Watch” continued with just under 18 000 TEUs stuck at anchorage, as poor weather exacerbated the issues.
  • The most significant delay at the Eastern Cape ports was NCT being windbound for approximately 16 hours on Monday.
  • The Durban helicopter remains out of commission, with the technical team still working hard to ensure that the repairs are executed as timely as possible.
  • Additionally, this week, a significant cable theft and vandalism incident occurred for the first time in approximately three weeks near the Ladysmith area.
  • The incident occurred around 21:00 on Wednesday, and the line was taken out of commission at least until the following morning.

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