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Inclement weather, frequent equipment failures and shortages, load shedding, and congestion were all factors that affected port operations. The Santa Clara lost the entire Tuesday due to vessel range earlier this week, and one of Cape Town’s shore tensioning equipment fell into the water and stopped the Luanda Express from departing. Due to the poor straddle carrier availability that continued for the majority of the week, customers were dissatisfied with the productivity levels at DCT’s Pier 2 this week. The shore tensioner and the mooring master at NCT are reportedly both in use in berths D100 and 101, respectively, according to the most recent sources. Industry worries about the workload of the Richards Bay helicopter were justified this week when the aircraft broke down with no anticipated time of return. Additionally, intermittent overhead power outages affected container corridor operations near the end of the week, and sporadic cable theft recurred in the Pretoria region.

Key Notes:

  • An average of ~8 198 containers was handled per day, with ~8 901 containers projected for next week.
    Rail cargo handled out of Durban amounted to 2 337 containers, ↑5% compared to last week.
    Cross-border queue times were ↑1,7 hours (w/w), with transit times ↓2,5 hours (w/w); SA borders decreased by 2,5 hours, averaging ~10,2 hours (↓20%); Other SADC borders averaged ~7,8 hours (↓24%).
  • The “Global Port Throughput Index” will have fallen ↓4,3% (m/m) in July 2023 to 106,1 points.
  • Global freight rates decreased by ↓3,5% (or $64) to $1 768 per 40-ft container, as GRIs will likely end.
  • Global air cargo volumes have accelerated their decline (↓5%) as rates remain stable at $2,29 per kg.

Port operations – General:

  • Port operations were characterised by inclement weather conditions, frequent equipment breakdowns and shortages, load-shedding, and congestion.
  • Earlier this week, one of the shore tensioning units in Cape Town fell in the water and prevented the Luanda Express from sailing, while the Santa Clara lost the entire Tuesday due to vessel ranging.
  • Customers were unsatisfied with the productivity levels at DCTs Pier 2 this week as low straddle carrier availability persisted for most of the week.
  • The latest reports suggest that the shore tensioner and the Mooring master at NCT are both in operation at berths D100 and 101, respectively.
  • Industry concerns regarding the Richards Bay helicopter’s workload were justified this week as the aircraft went out of commission with no estimated time of return available.
  • Furthermore, intermittent overhead power failures disrupted operations on the container corridor towards the latter end of the week, while intermittent cable theft occurred again around the Pretoria area.

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