It is likely that port operations in 2022 will be constrained. Exporters need a thorough and well-developed logistics plan for 2022. This according to Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers’ Association (CGA).
There were many challenges experienced during the citrus season at South African ports and unfortunately it continued throughout the table grape season.
“It is likely that port operations in 2022 will be constrained – the necessary resources to bring about the needed improvement in efficiency will take some time to come to fruition,” Chadwick said.
Exporters, he added, will need a thorough and well-developed logistics plan for 2022.
“Once this good plan is developed, exporters will need to keep their ear to the ground to ensure they are aware of events that impact on the plan – and be prepared to adapt to these changes.”
Planning, adapting and collaboration
According to Chadwick, one thing that the industry learnt in 2021 was to expect the unexpected. He said hopefully in 2022 this does not include an insurrection or a cyber attack.
The CGA has vowed to engage daily with the port operator on operational issues, and feed through the information as it becomes known. CGA also plans to encourage and support the port operator wherever possible.
“In this way the thousands of logistics decisions made on a daily basis will be informed decisions, and we can get to not only export the big volume anticipated for 2022 but export it timeously and in line with marketing plans,” Chadwick said.
By planning well, adapting quickly, and working together, collectively the industry may be able to ensure 2022 is an annus mirabili wonderful year), he said.
Meanwhile, the performance of the South African Container Terminals continues at levels far below international norms or acceptable levels, Chadwick stated.
“Equipment challenges coupled with weather delays and the fact that hundreds of key personnel have left Transnet after being offered a voluntary severance package (VSP), has seen performance continue to deteriorate resulting in extended shipping delays,” Chadwick explained.
Sign up for Mzansi Today: Your daily take on the news and happenings from the agriculture value chain.