Dear Valued Clients,

In a recent release of The Container Port Performance Index of 2023, all the world’s container ports were ranked based on time that a vessel spends in various container ports.

It may not come as a surprise to regular sea freight importers and exporters when it was revealed that the container ports in South Africa ranked extremely poorly in comparison to the global average.

Out of a total of 405 container ports globally, Cape Town was ranked 405 – dead last. Closely followed in the bottom 10 in the world, was Durban Port, ranked at 404. Port Elizabeth ranked just a few places higher at 391 out of 405.

However, while blame immediately gets placed at the door of the SOE, Transnet, one must also consider the external factors that impact the performance of the South African ports. Between the calendar year of January to December 2023, Cape Town port was non-operational for a total of 1 750 hours due to wind.  The worst month was February 2023, where the port was non-operational for 279 hours. This equates to an average of 43 percent per day for the month of February having wind too strong for the port to operate. These factors are out of the control of the port and must be kept in mind when seeing how poorly the ports have performed.

To make matters even worse for sea freight customers in South Africa, further General Rate Increases (GRI) are expected nearing the middle of June 2024 for all cargo from and via the Far East. This follows bi-weekly adjusted GRI being experienced since the start of May 2024. Please contact our sea freight forwarding team for further information, or a current indication of the import rates from and via the Far East.

In comparison, airfreight, said a very different story. South Africa’s two biggest airports, Johannesburg and Cape Town, both featured in the World’s Top 100 Airports 2023 according to Skytrax.

Cape Town was ranked the 47th best airport and Johannesburg was ranked the 75th best airport in the world. To highlight the significance of this feature, both Johannesburg and Cape Town ranked higher than Abu Dhabi and New York JFK airport.

We remain dedicated to your freight forwarding and logistics needs.

Thank you for your continued support.

Team Pioneer.


Wind Source: MSC Cape Town (Shane Hannath)

Airport Rankings: Skytrax –

Sea Port Ranking: Chamber of Commerce –