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SA’s ‘Pariah’ Status Exacerbates Cargo Capacity Crunch

19 April 2021 – As travel restrictions remain in place, in-market export promotion activities continue to take the virtual route. According to Tim Harris, CEO of Wesgro, this is not expected to change and travel restrictions are expected to remain in effect for at least the first half of 2021. “The inability to travel or attend trade exhibitions means exporters are not able to meet new clients, expand current relationships, and invite buyers to meet their suppliers and operations face to face,” he said.

“Exporters relying on air cargo are significantly impacted given the decrease in f lights in general, but also because countries are now closing their borders to South Africans due to the discovery of the new variant.”

Exporters across the country have also been severely affected by Covid-induced closures and disruptions at border posts. “To successfully grow exports, we need well-functioning border logistics systems and good connectivity,” said Harris.

Global disruptions to shipping, due to shipping lines diverting vessels and containers towards more lucrative routes between Asia and the USA, are another challenge local exporters have to deal with as this has caused ripple effects on schedules, container availability, and shipping costs on trade routes around the world. Source (Freightnews.co.za)