Find Freight, Shipping and Logistics expertise in South Africa
South Africa has advanced infrastructure mechanisms that allows for efficient freight forwarding and shipping of goods by land, air and sea. More than 90% of South Africa’s trade volume is transported by sea, translating to 80% in value terms. This makes the country strategically reliant on the maritime transport industry.
The European Commission estimates that in 2010 South Africa’s exports of gold, diamonds, platinum, other minerals and metals, machinery and equipment to EU, China and US were worth €59.2 billion. Imports from EU, China and US, consisting principally of machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments and foodstuffs had a value of €67.1 billion.
Given its geographical location South African ports are well-placed to work in both the eastern and western seaboards. The largest ports are Richards Bay, Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay, Cape Town and Saldanha. A full range of auxiliary services – including forwarding, stevedoring, container handling, customs clearing and many other forms of logistics – are available at the country’s major ports, which serve both local and regional trade. Transnet National Ports Authority controls and manages port facilities and services.
South Africa is very developed in terms of transport infrastructure with 567 airports of which 145 have paved runways and one heliport. There are 20,192km of railway and over 362,000km of roadway of which 73,500 km is paved, including 239km of expressways. Both the domestic rail and road infrastructure are well established. The land freight sub-sector transports two-thirds of its annual volume by road, rather than rail. Transnet Freight Rail is part of Transnet Ltd, a public company whose only shareholder is the South African government. It is responsible for the management of the South African rail freight. The Ministry of Transport is responsible for the regulation of all transport infrastructure in the country.
The World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI) scores countries on various aspects involved with shipping and logistics on a scale of one to five with five being the highest. South Africa scores 3.67 (2012) for LPI, placing it well above the average for both the sub-Saharan African region (2.46) and the upper-middle income group (2.84) and in 23rd place out of 155 countries worldwide.
The South African Association of Freight Forwarders is the key representative body in the freight and shipping sector. There are many other freighting and freight forwarding companies in South Africa including global leaders in freight and airfreight services DHL, Fedex, TNT, and UPS are all present in the country.
The World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI) scores countries on various aspects involved with shipping and logistics on a scale of one to five with five being the highest. South Africa ranks highest in tracking (16th), infrastructure (19th), timeliness (20th) and shipment (20th) where it is in the top 20. It comes in the top 30 for customs (26th) and logistics (24th).