Vehicle tracking, fleet management and insurance telematics solutions provider Ctrack’s Transport & Freight Index for June shows that South Africa’s transport and freight volumes increased by 20.6% month-on-month across all sectors.
The Ctrack headline change, however, declined by 23.2% for the rolling three-month average to June compared with June 2019.
Total freight volumes in June also indicate double-digit growth for the second consecutive month, having recorded a 15.2% increase in May compared with April. However, the depth of the April decline was such that the quarter still reflects a decline.
The data shows that the industry is on the way back, with the bounce back of the whole supply chain. The speed of the bounce is surprising and may not stay at double digits, Ctrack states.
“Every cloud has a silver lining. While we remain cautiously optimistic, the recovery does seem real, even though the industry still faces significant supply chain challenges.
“But clearly, the worst is now behind the transport and logistics industries,” says Ctrack South Africa CEO Hein Jordt.
Ctrack’s data shows that warehouses are getting fuller and that the country’s biggest ports have gotten going again.
However, overall transport and logistics volumes are about 13% below the country’s January 2018 high point and are unlikely to reach that level again before 2022.
The air freight sector is also unlikely to fully recover unless tourism picks up dramatically; and the same can be said of the pipeline sector, Ctrack posits.
“Unfortunately, the average South African consumer is unlikely to display pre-pandemic levels of buying confidence for at least another year.
Car, furniture and property sales will not return to 2019 levels until 2021 or even 2022. Travel restrictions and shortened holidays will hurt the local travel industry, new-vehicle sales, clothing and, to a lesser extent, entertainment-type products.
The bad news in the pipeline sector is likely to also continue.
Large reductions in traffic volumes have been recorded in all the big cities of South Africa and long-distance travel on the country’s major routes is also radically lower,” Ctrack notes.
Fuel sales are expected to remain well below normal. With massive fuel stocks in some parts of the country, Ctrack believes that pipeline volumes will disappoint for some time still.