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This week, the normal operational snags continued, such as unfavorable weather and ongoing equipment failures and shortages. This week, the Port of Cape Town had windbound conditions for about 36 hours straight. In the meantime, poor weather and issues with marine resources caused Richards Bay to have a 48-hour disruption in operations. Industry worries surfaced this week in Durban because, despite seven unsuccessful dredging attempts, berth 202 has not yet reached the required depth. Following upbeat news last week about the construction of a new conveyor belt at the Port of Richards Bay, tragedy struck this week when two trains crashed on the vital coal export route. In addition, following another washaway on Monday night, the train route between Johannesburg and Durban was reopened in the 24 hours between Tuesday and Wednesday.

Key Notes:

  • An average of ~7 699 containers was handled per day, with ~8 282 containers projected for next week.
  • Rail cargo handled out of Durban amounted to 1 876 containers, down ↓36% from last week.
    Cross-border queue times were ↑0,2 hours (w/w), with transit times ↑4,8 hours (w/w); SA borders increased by ~2,3 hours, averaging ~9,3 hours (↑32%); Other SADC borders averaged ~6,0 hours (↓5%).
  • Tradeshift shows that global trade activity recovered to four points below the baseline of 2019.
  • Global freight rates have again sharply increased by ↑23% (or $705) to $3 777 per 40-ft container.
  • Global air cargo experienced its customary cyclical rebound, up by ↑24% (w/w); rates @ $2,34 per kilo.

Port operations – General:

  • The usual operational constraints persisted this week, including adverse weather conditions and continuous equipment breakdowns and shortages.
  • The Port of Cape Town went windbound this week for approximately 36 hours in succession. Meanwhile, approximately 48 operational hours were disrupted in Richards Bay due to bad weather and marine resource challenges.
  • In Durban, concerns from industry arose this week as berth 202 has still not reached the desired depth after seven failed dredging attempts.
  • After the encouraging reports received last week regarding the new conveyor belt installation at the Port of Richards Bay, disaster struck this week as two trains collided on the crucial coal export line.
  • Furthermore, the rail line between Durban and Johannesburg was reopened in the 24 hours between Tuesday and Wednesday after another washaway occurred on Monday evening.

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