News Flash – South African Port Update – 14th October 2023

News Flash – South African Port Update – 14th October 2023

Dear Clients and Partners

South African Ports are under serious pressure – with this as background we thought it best to give you a brief update on how things stand:



The delays currently experienced genuinely significant – Making Durban one of the most congested ports worldwide.

The main causes of the delays include:

  • Bad weather
  • Low productivity
  • Equipment failures / issues including broken gantry and straddle carriers.
  • TPT (Transnet Port Terminals) being unable to repair equipment timeously.


Berthing delays range between 7 & 15 days while vessel discharging delays are running between 3 to 6 days. Therefore, total delays that can currently be anticipated range between 10 & 21 days.

We, therefore, see an increased number of vessels bypassing Durban and calling on alternative South African ports. More concerning is that there is now talk of shipping lines bypassing South Africa altogether and calling on Mozambique & Namibia instead.


Cape Town:

Cape Town is also incredibly congested – Factors contributing to the congestion include:

  • Bad weather and high winds
  • Low productivity
  • Equipment down time.


Total delays to be expected range between 6 & 12 days (Vessels sitting at anchor between 4 & 8 days and then a further 2 to 4 days for the discharging of containers).


Coega / Port Elizabeth:

While Coega is in better shape than both Cape Town & Durban, the congestion is still substantial with delays ranging between 6 & 10 days.

Factors that have contributed to the congestion include:

  • Increased vessel volumes as shipping lines divert vessels to Coega in an attempt at avoiding the worsening congestion in Durban & Cape Town
  • Equipment scarcity
  • Poor weather.


As always, the Inter-Sped team will do their utmost to ensure we get the best results circumstances allow. We will keep you posted on your shipments progress on an individual shipment level.


Best Regards
JJ & The Inter-Sped Team