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This update – the 102nd 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, inclement weather conditions, and the national strike (primarily affecting Durban, causing delays. The nationwide strike on Wednesday took its toll on operations at Pier 2 in Durban as the terminal operated at 50% workforce capacity for most of the day. Luckily, our other national ports were not affected by the strike and continued their operations normally. However, Richards Bay experienced severe delays due to vessel ranging this past week, while downtime of the NAVIS booking system disrupted straddle carrier operations in the Eastern Cape. Furthermore, Transnet continued to implement the four-hour review period for slot allocations this week while cancelled and wasted slots remained high.

Internationally, in the shipping industry, while the challenging situation of port congestion has improved for US West Coast ports, supply chain disruption is far from over. There is growing congestion at US East Coast ports, a week-long strike at the UK’s largest port of Felixstowe, following disruption at other major Europe ports such as Hamburg. In addition, China’s zero-COVID policy means continued uncertainty over the entire operation of its key export facilities. Consequently, complete normalisation of the supply chain remains a long way off.

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