Skip to content

The typical operational delays (weather, regular equipment failures and shortages, a variety of delays, load-shedding, and congestion) characterized this week’s port activity. Similar to the previous week, Cape Town’s operations were hampered by bad weather, berthing issues, and technical difficulties for more than 30 hours. As a result, the industry has expressed worry about berthing delays, some of which exceed nine days. Fortunately, marine services in Durban improved this week, with the regular four available tugs for the majority of the week. Rail repairs required as a result of the Durban flash floods have been postponed until mid-April, according to TFR. Last but not least, TPT announced their projected tariff hikes for the upcoming fiscal year beginning on April 1, 2023.

Key Notes :

  • An average of ~7 496 containers was handled per day, with ~8 129 containers projected for next week.
  • Rail cargo handled out of Durban amounted to 2 083 containers, ↓8% compared to last week.
    Cross-border queue times were ↑1,1 hours, with transit times ↑2,3 hours, SA borders ~9,8 hours (↑34%).
  • SARS merchandise trade (December): exports (↓5,1%, m/m), imports (↓4,2%); trade surplus: R5,43 billion. YTD: exports ↑11,1% (y/y), imports ↑31,8% (y/y), surplus: R163,36 billion (↓55% less vs 2021).
  • The RWI/ISL container throughput index increased by ↑2,4 to 124,3 points in December.
    Freight rates continue to decrease, with spot rates ↓1% to $2 034 and contract rates down ↓13,3% (m/m).
  • Global air cargo is down by ↓8% (w/w), but Africa-Europe flows are up by ↑20% in both directions.

Port operations – General :

  • This week’s port activity was characterised by the usual operational delays (weather, frequent equipment breakdowns and shortages, miscellaneous delays, load-shedding, and congestion).
    Cape Town experienced a similar week to last, as operations were delayed for more than 30 hours due to weather, berthing delays, and equipment challenges.
  • Consequently, the industry has voiced concern regarding berthing delays, with some extending beyond nine days.
  • Fortunately, in Durban, marine services improved this week, with the availability of tugs increasing to the standard four for most of the week.
  • For rail, TFR reported that repairs needed on several rail lines due to the Durban flash floods had been delayed to mid-April.
  • Lastly, TPT communicated their anticipated tariff increases for the new financial year starting from 1 April 2023.

Read more