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This update – the 93rd of its kind – contains a consolidated overview of the South African supply chain and the current state of international trade. Newly reported COVID-19 infections declined significantly this week, averaging approximately 885 per day (↓22% against last week’s average of 1 142), with the positivity rate the lowest in months at around 6%. South Africa has recorded 3,99 million positive cases, with the death toll up to 101 704 this week (up by 115). Globally, the case tally stands at 542 million infected by COVID-19, with 6,3 million deaths recorded. Around 12,02 billion vaccine doses have been administered globally , with the South African trickling along very slowly, now at 36,7 million. Also, this week saw the Health minister repealing the country’s COVID–19 regulations, including the wearing of masks, curbs on gathering sizes and border checks , as the country started to exit the fifth wave.

Port operations this past week were somewhat hampered by wind and weather delays. However, the week’s performance significantly improved on many indicators, which bodes well for the future. Also, there were some further positive points with Durban indicating an improvement in slots wasted via the NAVIS booking system. Unfortunately, some of the gains were offset by congestion at the port following closures of the N3 earlier in the week. On a further positive note, Cape Town reported having a full complement of eight STS cranes on Monday and also reported that they are in the process of obtaining a ninth crane (a contract to move the crane has already been awarded).

Key Notes:

  • An average of ~8 673 containers was handled per day, with ~9 047 projected for next week.
  • Rail cargo handled out of Durban amounted to 1 172 containers, ↑60% compared to last week.
  • Stats SA shows land transport (payload) increased by ↑2,5% (y/y) in April 2022; income at ↑6,2% (y/y).
  • This week, cross-border queue times ↓0,5 hours, with transit times ↓4,8 hours.
  • The “WCI” declined for a 17th straight week, with spot rates ↓3% (or $216) to $7 286 per 40-ft.
  • Rising freight costs – particularly containers – are responsible for ~1,6% of inflation globally.
  • Global aviation continues with its recovery, with air cargo the main driver at only ↓3,8% versus 2019.

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