Freight Market Updates

Weekly Industry News: Aug 09 - Aug 15

July 29, 2021
August 16, 2021

Read all about it! Sendy is rounding up the latest news on what’s happening in the logistics industry regionally for you. Enjoy bite-sized easy-to-read information that will keep you up to date on all things Freight!

Covid-19 Affects China-Africa Trade. 

For several decades China has been Africa’s largest and most consistent trading partner, exporting a wide range of products from garments, electronics to construction equipment to mention but a few. 

Recently trade between the Asian nation and the continent has hit a slump due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Traders have faced cargo delays and a surge in import costs. 

Cargo to Africa was left short of containers by the disruption of the pandemic, then exploding demand from Asia-Europe and Trans-Pacific trade routes as economies reopened, and the backlog caused by this year’s Suez Canal blockage. All these have been contributing factors. 

The border restrictions imposed by China and many nations in Africa to curb the spread of the disease have seen a shortage of containers docking at the various ports. 

Source: South China Morning Post August 15, 2021.

Rwanda Now Heads Northern Corridor Policy.

After a two-year term, Kenya’s lead over the northern corridor policy organs came to an end and was handed over to Rwanda. 

Instruments of authority and the chairmanship moved from Kenya to Rwanda. 

An official handover at the 33rd meeting of the northern corridor from Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of East African Community and Regional Development to Rwanda’s Minister for Infrastructure. 

The meeting was held under the theme, ‘Towards a Resilient, Smart and Responsive Corridor for Trade and Transport Logistics’ was attended by ministers from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda who re-affirmed their commitment towards supporting Northern Corridor projects.

Source: The East African August 09, 2021.

Kenya Ports Authority Cargo Forecast amidst Covid-19 woes. 

Mombasa port surpassed its target in the first half of the year, surprising itself by defying the covid-19 disruptions and the shortage of containers globally. 

Data from the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) indicates the volumes handled at the facility grew to 36 million tonnes in review period from 33.6 million in corresponding period last year, exceeding forecasted target of 353,769 TEUs by 2.8 percent.

Source: Business Daily August 09, 2021.

Number Plate Shortage in Kenya due to Kamiti Prison.

Imported vehicles have since early July been held at Mombasa port due to a shortage and lack of supply of number plates from Kamiti prison. 

It is mandatory for second-hand imported vehicles to be fitted with number plates before and law dictates the prison department make these number plates. 

The shortage has seen more than 7,000 imported second-hand vehicles lying at container freight stations (CFS) in Mombasa, and owners are being charged daily storage fees for delayed clearance.

This has greatly impacted importers and vehicle business people alike.

Source: Business Daily Africa August 11, 2021.

Multi-billion Infrastructural Projects Transforming Mombasa. 

The Kenyan government has since 2013 invested 3.6 trillion Shillings in various projects in Mombasa, it is expected that upon completion this will position the region as an attractive destination for investment, trade and tourism.

Infrastructure includes the Changamwe inter-change which is expected to be opened to the public on October 21 will be a three-decker which is first of its kind in East and Central Africa.

Among the projects earmarked for completion are the Sh4.5 billion Makupa Bridge, the Sh16 billion three-deckers Changamwe inter-change and Sh19 billion dual road from Kwa Jomvu to Mariakani.

Source: Kenya News August 12, 2021.

Supply Shortage Feared As China Partly Shuts Major Port.

Ningbo-Zhoushan, the world’s third busiest port shut down services after one of the port staff was infected with the delta variant of covid-19. This closure threatens more disruption on shipment as the busy Christmas shipping season draws nearer. 

The Covid crisis put the container shipping industry under intense pressure by knocking normal patterns of supply and demand out. More delays are expected going forward. 

Source: BBC News 13 August, 2021.

Africa-china Trade Slowed Down By Container Shortage.

China is Africa’s leading trade partner; traders have recently faced delays in shipment and steep import costs as a result of the covid-19 pandemic. 

This has been traced back to a shortage of shipping containers, China has prioritized China-Europe and trans-pacific routes before serving routes like Africa as those have hiked the costs of shipping and are bringing in more money. 

Traders have noted that some of their orders are delayed by several weeks, maybe even months. 

Cargo to Africa was left short of containers by the disruption of the pandemic, then exploding demand from Asia-Europe and trans-Pacific trade routes as economies reopened, and the backlog caused by this year’s Suez Canal blockage.

Source: Southern China Morning Post 15 August, 2021.