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This update – the 100th of its kind – contains a consolidated overview of the South African supply chain and the current state of international trade. Port operations this past week were characterised by equipment breakdowns, congestion, power outages, and weather conditions causing delays. TFR still hasn’t provided an estimated time of return on the second line of the Balgowan section of the container corridor after the derailment that occurred. On Thursday, a truck caught fire at one of the Maydon Wharf berths, while Transnet issued a detailed update on the automated Moormaster system and their action plan as to how they plan to repair and maintain the system over the short-, medium-, and long term.

On the international shipping side, the latest global container throughput figures point to a volume consolidation in June, following a strong recovery in May. Consequently, the massive reduction in February caused by the Chinese New Year, the spread of Omicron, the ongoing effects of Russia’s war with Ukraine, and others, have now been overcome to some extent. Nevertheless, the steady decline in freight rates continues, and we can expect to see the impact of this on some South African trades. However, the fear is that capacity – which in our case is provided by relatively smaller vessels – may be reduced through scheduling and blank sailings.

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