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This week’s port operations were characterized by unfavorable weather, numerous equipment failures and shortages, system issues brought on by power outages, and congestion.
Strong winds and thick fog, for instance, routinely caused delays in operations at the Cape Town Container Terminal for the most of the week. This week in Durban, there were numerous delays caused by a lack of tugs, and TFR continues to face widespread cable theft, which created a number of additional equipment difficulties. A ray of light for our economy was offered by the TNPA in Durban and Cape Town, who both claimed that their ports would be free from load-shedding despite the energy problem appearing unsolvable.

Key Notes :

  • An average of ~6 881 containers was handled per day, with ~7 906 containers projected for next week.
  • Rail cargo handled out of Durban amounted to 1 416 containers, ↓27% compared to last week.
  • Cross-border queue times were ↓0,3 hours, with transit times ↓1,4 hours, SA borders ~6,3 hours (↑16%).
  • Blank sailings continue this week, with Alphaliner reporting a 27% cancellation and Drewry at 25%.
  • Freight rates fell again (↓3% or $53 to $2 079), as spot and charter rate drops are expected to continue.
  • Air cargo volume is up by ↑19% (w/w, worldwide tonnages) compared, according to World ACD.
  • Air cargo rates were stable in December (↑0,3%) – after the peaks of a year ago (↓32,1%, y/y).

 Port operations – General :

  • This week, port operations were characterised by adverse weather conditions, frequent equipment
    breakdowns and shortages, power outages causing system challenges, and congestion.
  • For example, operations at the Cape Town Container Terminal were frequently delayed
    throughout the most significant part of the week due to strong winds and dense fog.
  • In addition, equipment challenges were rife in Durban this week as extensive delays were
    experienced due to a shortage of tugs, while TFR continues to suffer from rampant cable theft.
  • On a more positive note, TNPA in both Durban and Cape Town reported that their ports would
    be exempt from load-shedding, providing a glimmer of hope for our economy amidst the
    seemingly intractable energy crisis.

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