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Transport and Logistics Trends in South Africa 2023

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  • 42 Pages
  • August 2023
  • Region: South Africa
  • Who Owns Whom
  • ID: 5876521


South Africa’s commercial activity and economic performance are closely linked to its ability to transport goods within and beyond its borders. The logistics sector has outpaced economic growth of the last two years. Although transport infrastructure is among the best on the continent, a lack of maintenance and infrastructure investment, with a resultant shift from rail to road, as well as congested and inefficient ports, has led to high usage costs. The deterioration of logistics performance compared to other countries is evident in South Africa’s low ranking in the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index and its Container Port Performance Index. The sector is plagued by low economic growth, rising fuel prices, loadshedding, a lack of skills, collapsing infrastructure and crime. Government has recently renewed its commitment to fix the problems in the sector.


Despite a tough economic environment, the logistics sector is poised to continue to grow over the next decade as goods still need to be transported, and due to government’s commitment to fix sector’s problems, and the private sector’s adoption of new technology. Forecasts indicate the logistics industry to grow well above forecasts for growth of the South African economy. There is evidence of resilience driven by increased demand for goods and services and advancements in technology.

Report Coverage

This trends report includes a description of the logistics sector and its environment, infrastructure, major role players and performance.

The report discusses the shift from rail to road, port activity, global competitiveness, and sector challenges, such as the effect of rail inefficiencies and poor road infrastructure and conditions, transport vehicle attacks and cable theft. Who Owns Whom trends reports do not include company profiles. These and more detailed analyses on the industry and its players are contained in several separate related Who Owns Whom reports.

Selected Highlights

Miscellaneous Logistics Changes In 2022 the logistics sector contributed R451.4bn to GDP at current prices, 12% more than R402.8bn in 2021. The sector’s share of GDP increased to 8.8% in real prices in 2022 from only 5.9% in 1993, to reach 9.0% of GDP by the first quarter of 2023. South Africa has a land mass of 1.2 million km2 and a total coastline of 2,798km making it the 25th largest in the world. The freight moved by rail has halved from 30% of total land transport tonnages in January 2015, to 14% by May 2023, while the share of road freight transport has increased from 70% to 86%. Post-pandemic recovery of automotive exports is evident in a 30.4% increase in the number of vehicles handled at ports 2021 and a 28.1% increase in 2022. The transport sector accounts for 10.8% of all greenhouse gas emissions, with road transport contributing 91.2% of the transport sector’s share. The DoT’s Green Transport Strategy aims to reduce emissions by shifting 30% of freight transport from road to rail and converting 5% of the vehicle fleet to cleaner alternative fuel and efficient technology vehicles in the next five years.

Table of Contents

2.1. Market Description and Role Players
2.2. Logistics Environment
2.3. Logistics Infrastructure
3.1. Transport GDP growth
3.2. Growth Prospects
8.1. World Bank Logistics Performance Index
8.2. Ports’ Competitive Position
9.1. Economic Loss due to Rail Inefficiencies
9.2. Effects of Poor Road Conditions on Logistics
9.3. Transport Vehicle Attacks
9.4. Cable Theft on the Rail Network
12.1. Publications
12.2. Websites

Companies Mentioned

  • Amber Support Solutions Ltd
  • APM Terminals Trucking South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Aspen Logistic Services (Pty) Ltd
  • Axis Cleaning and Support Services Ltd
  • Axis Group Integrated Services Ltd
  • Axis Security Services Ltd
  • B.I.C Services Pty Ltd
  • Biddulphs Removals and Storage S A (Pty) Ltd
  • Bidvest Freight (Pty) Ltd
  • Bidvest Group (UK) PLC (The)
  • Bidvest Group Australia Pty Ltd (The)
  • Bidvest Noonan (ROI) Ltd
  • Bidvest Noonan (UK) Ltd
  • Bidvest Services (ROI) Ltd
  • Bidvest Services (UK) Ltd
  • Bidvest Services Group (UK) Ltd
  • Bridge Shipping Kenya
  • Bridge Shipping Malawi
  • Bridge Shipping Mozambique
  • Bridge Shipping Tanzania
  • Bridge Shipping Uganda
  • Bridge Shipping Zambia
  • Bridge Shipping Zimbabwe
  • BWTS Mozambique Lda
  • Cargo Carriers (Pty) Ltd
  • CB Enterprises (Pty) Ltd
  • Clean Tech 360 (Pty) Ltd
  • CLM Safety Ltd
  • Concargo (Pty) Ltd
  • Cordant Cleaning Ltd
  • Cordant Security Ltd
  • Cordant Thistle Ltd
  • Crane Midco (Guernsey) Ltd
  • Crane Midco Ltd
  • Crossroads Distribution (Pty) Ltd
  • Dartry Laundry Ltd
  • Digistics (Pty) Ltd
  • Direct365Online Ltd
  • DPD Laser Express Logistics (Pty) Ltd
  • DriveRisk Australasia Pty Ltd
  • DSV South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Elliott Mobility (Pty) Ltd
  • Epsilon Test Services Ltd
  • Ezethu Logistics (Pty) Ltd
  • Five Star Performance (Pty) Ltd
  • Fleet Services (Lesotho) (Pty) Ltd
  • Future Carpet Cleaning Services Ltd
  • Future Cleaning (Southwest) Ltd
  • Future Cleaning Services Ltd
  • Gan-Trans (Pty) Ltd
  • Grindrod (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd
  • Grindrod SA Operations (Pty) Ltd
  • Haiden Investments (Pty) Ltd
  • Halamandaris Props (Pty) Ltd
  • Hygiene Matters Ltd
  • Igmi's Express (Pty) Ltd
  • Imperial Amazonia BV
  • Imperial Health Sciences GH Ltd
  • Imperial Health Sciences Kenya Ltd
  • Imperial Logistics Botswana
  • Imperial Logistics Ltd
  • Innovative Technology Ecosystems (Pty) Ltd
  • IT Eco Holdings (Pty) Ltd
  • Karmarton Ltd
  • L. Lynch (H20) Solutions Ltd
  • L.Lynch Interact Ltd
  • Laser Group (Pty) Ltd (The)
  • Laser Transport Group (Pty) Ltd (The)
  • LPM Acquisitions Ltd
  • Lubes Specialists (Pty) Ltd
  • Maersk Logistics and Services South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Manline Freight (Division of Manline Transport (Pty) Ltd)
  • Manline Mega (Division of Manline Transport (Pty) Ltd)
  • Maseru Logistics Group (Pty) Ltd
  • Mayflower Hygiene Supplies (Ireland) Ltd
  • Mayflower Hygiene Supplies (London) Ltd
  • Mogaladi Fuel (Pty) Ltd
  • Moonstruck Investments (Pty) Ltd
  • Namibia Logistics (Pty) Ltd
  • Nebula Supply Chain Services (Pty) Ltd
  • Ni-Da Transport (Pty) Ltd
  • Noonan Services Group (NI) Ltd
  • Noonan Topco Ltd
  • Novatech (Pty) Ltd
  • NWK Loyalty Programme Trust (The)
  • OLI Trading Ltd
  • OneLogix Group Ltd
  • Optix Holdings (Pty) Ltd
  • Optix International (Pty) Ltd
  • Personnel Hygiene Services Ltd
  • PHS Bidco Ltd
  • PHS Compliance Ltd
  • PHS Group Ltd
  • PHS Holdings Ltd
  • PHS Hygiene Pty Ltd
  • PHS Investments Ltd
  • phs Serkonten SAU
  • PHS Services Ltd
  • PHS Washrooms Ltd
  • PHS Western Ltd
  • Resource Support Services (IOM) Ltd
  • Rhenus Logistics (Pty) Ltd
  • RSC Consulting Services (Pty) Ltd
  • RTT Group (Pty) Ltd
  • Sabot Holdings Ltd
  • Sabot Holdings Zambia Ltd
  • Sabot Ltd
  • Sabot Management Holdings Ltd
  • Sabot Properties Ltd
  • Sabot Properties Zambia Ltd
  • Sabot Zambia Ltd
  • Seebeck 133 Ltd
  • Sequence Logistics (Pty) Ltd
  • SingRisk Services Pte Ltd
  • Steers Properties (Pty) Ltd
  • Strait Access Technologies Holdings (Pty) Ltd
  • Super Group Ltd
  • Supernathi (Pty) Ltd
  • Teacrate Ltd
  • Teacrate Rentals Ltd
  • Thrive Solutions (Pty) Ltd
  • Triton Express (Pty) Ltd
  • Unitrans Supply Chain Solutions (Pty) Ltd
  • USSL Ltd
  • Value Logistics (Pty) Ltd
  • Vincemus Investments (Pty) Ltd
  • Vital Distribution Solutions (Pty) Ltd
  • Vital Distribution Solutions Namibia (Pty) Ltd
  • Worldwide Commercial Ventures Ltd
  • Worldwide Healthcare Ltd