A ship on fire
The stranded ship Seli on fire near Bloubergstrand in Cape Town, in June 2010. (Photo by Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
  • South Africa's transport and freight volumes bounced sharply in June – but only compared to May.
  • Road transport is back to levels last seen in March, and the sharpness of the overall bounce surprised the compilers of the index that captured it.
  • But compared to 2019, the three months to the end of June still show a decline of nearly one quarter .
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

June saw a surprising bounce in transport and freight volumes, especially by road, says vehicle tracking company Ctrack, with ports operating and warehouses filling up.

But a rolling three-month average shows activity down by 23.2% compared to the 2019 period between the beginning of April and the end of June, as transport ground to a halt during hard lockdown.

The Ctrack Transport & Freight Index measures movement across everything from rail to sea, and that data serves as something of a proxy for economic activity that is available before GDP and sector data can be tallied.

See also | Shock data: A fifth of SA employees did not receive a salary in June

Between May 2020 and June 2020, Ctrack said on Thursday, its overall index showed an increase of 20.6% in activity, more sharply than the increase seen between April and May, in a bounce the company described as “surprising”.

But it is projecting that a high point seen in early 2018 is likely to be reached again only in 2022, even though road transport volumes are already at similar levels to March 2020 – possibly due to a spike in the use of courier services as South Africans shop from home.

"While we remain cautiously optimistic, the recovery does seem real, even though the industry still faces significant supply chain challenges," said Ctrack SA CEO Hein Jordt in a statement.

(Compiled by Philip de Wet)

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