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East, S Africa & India Ocean box trade to recover from slowdown: study

DYNAMAR's study, East and Southern Africa (worldwide) Container Trades 2019, has found that South Africa has returned to growth after floundering in 2017, while East Africa is rising fast and saw its share of the East Africa, southern Africa and Indian Ocean Islands trade (ESAf) increase from 34 per cent in 2013 to 40 per cent in 2017

East, S Africa & India Ocean box trade to recover from slowdown: study

DYNAMAR's study, East and Southern Africa (worldwide) Container Trades 2019, has found that South Africa has returned to growth after floundering in 2017, while East Africa is rising fast and saw its share of the East Africa, southern Africa and Indian Ocean Islands trade (ESAf) increase from 34 per cent in 2013 to 40 per cent in 2017

18 March 2019 - 19:00

DYNAMAR's study, East and Southern Africa (worldwide) Container Trades 2019, has found that South Africa has returned to growth after floundering in 2017, while East Africa is rising fast and saw its share of the East Africa, southern Africa and Indian Ocean Islands trade (ESAf) increase from 34 per cent in 2013 to 40 per cent in 2017.

The ESAf region has a coastline stretching some 21,000 kilometres, with fronts on the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, with only part of South Africa and all of Namibia possessing South Atlantic coastlines.



In 2017 the total value of the ESAf economies reached US$737 billion, less than one per cent of the global economy. Southern Africa is dominant in the region and regularly accounts for 60 per cent of the total, reported Fort Lauderdale's Maritime Executive.



South Africa experienced a five per cent drop in gross domestic product (GDP) from $367 billion in 2013 to $349 billion in 2017, mainly due to a weak South African currency against the US dollar, according to the report's author Darron Wadey.



However, in the five-year period to 2022, Dynamar expects the ESAf region's economy to expand by $268 billion to $1,006 billion, with South Africa set to return to sustained growth but at a slower rate.



Twenty-two ports in the region are visited by intercontinental ocean liner services, including five on the East African coastline, ten in southern Africa and the rest located on Indian Ocean Islands. The two largest ports are Durban (2,700,000 TEU) in South Africa and Mombasa (1,190,000 TEU) in Kenya. Combined, they handled 48 per cent of total box throughput in 2017.



There are few private terminal operators in the region but construction of the multi-purpose facility DP World Berbera is underway. DP World (51 per cent), Somaliland (30 per cent) and Ethiopia (19 per cent) own what could be a new gateway to landlocked Ethiopia.



At the start of 2019, there were 18 different carriers offering container shipping services to and from the ESAf region, two less than in 2017.



The Far East, Middle East, Indian subcontinent, Europe and the Mediterranean are the main regions trading with ESAf. Over the five-year period to 2017, carriers struggled, experiencing declines between 2014 and 2016.



Figures from 20 ports in the region show that combined port throughput totalled 8.2 million TEU, representing four per cent growth since 2013. The shares of containers handled reflect a slow drift away from southern Africa towards East Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.



East Africa is growing and expanding its influence. In the period from 2013 to 2017, GDP rose by 25 per cent at the expense of southern Africa. It is the landlocked countries pushing GDP growth and not so much their coastal neighbours, said Mr Wadey.



'Indeed, Mombasa and Dar es Salaam compete for hinterland cargoes to Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda in particular. State-controlled ports are under increasing pressure to improve and develop their strained infrastructure,' he said.


WORLD SHIPPING

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