Increased Costs & Delays in South Africa

Posted 06/25/2020

South Africa continues to experience its share of difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Cape Town, workers at the port were sent home after discovering they had been infected with COVID-19 and, subsequently, terminals have been sporadically shut down for cleaning.  It is reported that the terminals are not doing an adequate job of disinfecting the workplace, and many workers are staying home due to the risks, thus slowing down operations considerably. Because of this, the current rate for container moves is at approximately 4 moves per hour, whereas an efficient crew at a port can move well over 30 per hour. Due to the slow loading and off-loading of vessels, schedules have been completely disrupted and vessels are waiting for berth space outside the port for 7-14 days. 

That being the situation, costs incurred at berth and while waiting for space have greatly increased for the carriers. These costs are trickling down into the freight rates, and as we enter into Q3, importers of South African goods can expect to witness these increases.

We are constantly working with our carrier contacts to mitigate cost increases as much as possible, and we will continue to do so as South Africa fights to recover from the COVID 19 pandemic. As always, we will keep you informed of this situation, and please contact us with any questions or concerns.