Current Look at Freight Transport in SA
The Ctrack Freight Transport Index (The Ctrack FTI) tracks 6 of the major logistics sectors of the South African economy, and we’re putting the spotlight on the most recent results and what these say about logistics in South Africa currently.
Here are some of the key findings from recent results:
· When we compare the current findings to those of March 2020, when South Africa first went into the hard lockdown, air freight, road freight, and pipelines have shown improvement, however, rail freight has gone from bad to worse. This could be due to lacking infrastructure and crime rather than Covid-19.
· International trade is still recovering from Covid-19, but disruptions in the global supply chain from factors such as the Suez Canal blockage are having some impact on this recovery. As the vaccine continues to be rolled out, we hope to see shipping continue to recover and get back to normal. In South Africa, sea freight has been up and down over the past few months. Will the third wave have an impact on the recovery of shipping in the country?
· Air freight in South Africa is on the up, and has increased by 17.8% compared with this time a year ago. This sector has also increased by 11% compared with the previous quarter, which is great to see. Cargo continued during the Covid-19 lockdowns, however, it is positive to see passenger travel picking up again. In fact, air freight is now at the highest it’s been since 2018, and the recovery continues to astound experts.
· Road fright in the country is also making a comeback, and grew by 5.3% compared with a year ago, which is just 2.1% off its all-time high. If we are going to use road freight as an indicator of recovery of the South African economy, then it would be safe to say that we are almost back to pre-Covid levels.
· Warehousing has reported a slight decline but this is largely due to businesses holding low stock due to worldwide shipping and product delays that are still occurring.
· Overall there has only been a 0.2% year-on-year decline in freight transported and stored in the country, which is not a terrible outcome. In all sectors but railway, the recovery has been faster than expected.
“The overall Ctrack FTI may not be back to a cycle of growth just yet, but it is getting very close to returning to pre-pandemic levels following the most prominent economic shock of our lifetime,” says Hein Jordt, managing director of Ctrack SA.