Export wait times double in South African strike fallout

South Africa trade at risk amid strike action

The strike in South Africa is likely to affect the importation of goods critical to the South African economy, finds new analysis from FourKites.

Impacts will be seen in the chemical, automotive and components for manufacturing facilities.

FourKites anticipates shippers will look to hold orders being imported into South Africa until the dispute is resolved, causing dwell times to increase and a short-term impact on holding costs for goods.

On the export side, the firm foresees a surplus of inventory as producers may choose to slow production if they already have necessary material, labour and space to store goods.

Raw industrial materials such as precious metals and minerals, wine, and produce are the most common exports and will be the most impacted.

Until the dispute is resolved and the backlog of cargo is processed, the strike will also impact West African and East African nations that are leveraging free trade with South Africa.

READ: South Africa supply lines at ‘operational standstill’ from strike action

Workers for Transnet, South Africa’s state-owned freight and rail company, began a strike last week over a pay dispute.

FourKites has since seen significant slowdowns in cargo moving through ports in South Africa.

Export shipments have now been waiting in South African ports for 7.7 days on average as of 9 October, an increase of 108 per cent from the beginning of the month.

Congested ports face more disruptions prompted by labour disputes amongst dock workers.

According to the latest analysis from Drewry, strike action at major German and UK ports has caused major disruption to carrier schedules and has adversely impacted port performance with soaring dwell times.

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