The Ctrack Transport & Freight Index for June shows that South Africa’s transport and freight volumes increased 20.6% compared to May across all sectors. The fleet tracking company’s headline change however declined, with 23.2% for the rolling three-month average to June compared to 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 to 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,” said Ctrack SA CEO, Hein Jordt.
“The speed of the bounce is surprising at present and may not stay at double digits.”
He said while they remained cautiously optimistic, the recovery did seem real, even though the industry still faced significant supply chain challenges.
“But clearly, the worst is now behind the transport and logistics industries.”
The data shows that warehouses are getting fuller and that the country’s biggest ports have got going again.
“That said, overall transport and logistics volumes are about 13% below the country’s January 2018 high point, and are unlikely to be reached again before 2022.”
He said the air freight sector was unlikely to fully recover unless tourism picked up dramatically.
“Unfortunately, the average South African consumer is unlikely to display pre-pandemic levels of buying confidence for at least another year.
He estimated that car, furniture, and property sales would not return to 2019 levels until 2021 or even 2022.
“Travel restrictions and shortened holidays will hurt the local travel industry, new car sales, clothing and, to a lesser extent, entertainment-type products.”