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Cargo Handling, Storage and Warehousing
Approximately 90% of South Africa’s international trade is moved by sea through Transnet ports in the form of containers, dry bulk, liquid bulk, break-bulk and automotives. Air freight accounts for a very small percentage of the total freight moved in, to and from South Africa. South African exports for the seven months to end-July 2018 increased by 3.6% while imports for the same period increased by 10.2%. Low economic growth, the volatile currency, poor investor confidence and credit rating downgrades will have a negative effect on the volume and value of goods requiring handling, storage and warehousing.
Transnet and South African Airways (SAA) are among the state-owned entities under the spotlight in the commission of inquiry into state capture, corruption and fraud in the public sector, while SAA remains financially vulnerable. A World Bank report reflects a significant drop in the performance of South Africa’s logistics industry based on factors including customs efficiency, quality of infrastructure and logistics services, ability to trace and track consignments and the frequency with which shipments arrive on time. South African ports are losing their competitive edge to other African ports due to their high port tariffs, congestion, berthing delays, labour unrest, equipment availability and work stoppages.
This report focuses on the loading and unloading of cargo, irrespective of the transport mode used, and the operation of storage and warehousing facilities for all kinds of goods, but excludes storage facilities operated by companies for their own use. It examines current conditions and discusses the issues, difficulties and opportunities facing the sector. Also covered are regulatory developments and initiatives by government and local companies. The report profiles 51 companies including local subsidiaries of multinationals such as Santova Logistics, local companies operating internationally such as Barloworld and Grindrod and several state-owned enterprises which dominate the sector such as Transnet and SAA.