Growth at South African ports is threatened by the global headwinds that are posing challenges for the country as a whole, namely the China slowdown and the drying up of foreign inflows due to the raised possibility that the extraordinarily loose monetary policy that has been the norm in the US is tapered off. However, with continued investment in facilities, growth in private final consumption, and ever-expanding coal exports, we forecast growth in both total tonnage and container volumes at South African ports in 2014.
Headline Industry Data
Richards Bay Port tonnage throughput in 2014 is forecast to decline by 5.0%. Over the medium term to 2018 we project a 0.7% average annual increase.
Port of Durban container throughput is forecast to grow by 3.0% in 2014. Growth will average 3.0% per annum in the medium-term forecast period to 2018.
2014 total trade growth is forecast at 3.5%, and to average 4.3% per annum to 2018.
Key Industry Trends
Delays To Durban Project: The Durban Dug-out project, the plan to quadruple the container handling capacity of South Africa - and the southern hemisphere's - biggest container-handling port, has been experiencing delays. Marc Descoins, director of the project for Transnet, the state-owned freight transport and logistics company, said: 'Actual start date of the new port is uncertain as we are still in the early design phase.'
Strike Declared Illegal: South Africa has been hit by a series of strikes over the past two years, and the ports sector has not been immune to this. Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa's (Numsa) have been striking, including workers at the Ngqura Container Terminal. However, this was declared illegal by the Labour Court in August, meaning that those workers employed by Transnet who were striking were unprotected, and would have to return to work or face dismissal.
Kalmar To Supply Straddle Carriers To TPT: Finland-based port equipment specialist Cargotec's...