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This week’s port input was mostly focused on the bad weather conditions that caused congestion and backlogs. The weather caused CTCT to lose about 21 operational hours on Wednesday. The fact that berthing delays at Pier 1 have reached 12 days and at Pier 2 have astoundingly reached 19 days raises serious concerns about waterside delays. As a result, Pier 2 announced that import-free storage for containers with a discharge volume greater than 2000 TEUs will be extended to 4,25 days until December 30, 2023. According to the same reports, berthing delays at Richards Bay MPT often lasted between 15 and 27 days. Additionally, the national rail system once more experienced widespread cable theft this week, with the most recent incident causing a 12-hour delay in service. Finally, to ensure dependability, shipping lines altered their sailing schedules and avoided ports owing to bad weather, frequent equipment failures, and shortages.

Key Notes:

  • An average of ~6 063 containers was handled per day, with ~8 110 containers projected for next week.
  • TNPA stats for September: containers are down by ↓10% (m/m), ↓19% (y/y), and ↓5% (YTD). Total bulk cargoes are down versus August (↓9%) and ↓14% (y/y). Vehicles are down by ↓14% (m/m and y/y).
  • Rail cargo handled out of Durban amounted to 2 160 containers for the week, ↓14% (w/w).
  • Cross-border queue times were ↓9,2 hours (w/w), with transit times ↓1,6 hours (w/w); SA borders
    increased by ~1,8 hours, averaging ~12,0 hours (↑18%); Other SADC borders averaged ~8,0 hours (↓20%).
  • Global freight rates decreased by a mere ↓0,4% (or $5) to $1 364 per 40-ft container this week.
  • Global air cargo shows a ↑2% increase in tonnages, as rates slipped slightly (↓1% – now at $2,34/kg).

Port operations – General:

  • Port feedback this week primarily revolved around adverse weather conditions, leading to congestion
    and backlogs.
  • CTCT lost approximately 21 operational hours on Wednesday because of the weather.
    Waterside delays are of grave concern, which indicated that berthing delays at Pier 1 have
    reached 12 days while berthing delays at Pier 2 have reached a staggering 19 days.
  • As a result, Pier 2 indicated that import-free storage will be extended to 4,25 days until 30
    December 2023 for containers with a discharge volume exceeding 2 000 TEUs.
  • The same reports further indicated that berthing delays, on average, at Richards Bay MPT
    stretched between 15 and 27 days.
  • Additionally, the national rail network again fell victim to extensive cable theft this week, with
    the latest incident delaying operations for approximately 12 hours.
  • Lastly, due to poor weather and frequent equipment breakdowns and shortages, shipping lines adjusted their sailing schedules and bypassed ports to maintain reliability.

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