International produce transport is a hot topic and local exporters face several challenges. From the lack of capacity at KwaZulu-Natal’s port after the floods, to a shortage of containers at a number of ports across Mzansi.
To understand SA’s current dilemmas and some of the solutions to solve these issues, Elton Greeve, trade and engagement manager at Tridge, joins this weekend edition of Farmer’s Inside Track.
According to Greeve, Mzansi is experiencing a very difficult stage in terms of freighting logistics and moving fruit to international markets.
He explains that the land-based logistics, warehousing, and cold storage is not a problem. “Where the chain does let us down, is from port. Once it reaches port, we really battle [with] shipping logistics.”
The impact of the Durban floods, Greeve reckons, only compounded the whole problem.
Port issues are solvable
When it comes to the functioning of the Durban port, Greeve says they have concerns about the capacity of the port and the volumes it can handle.
“It is possible to move fruit out of Durban, but quite often we look at one element and that is the infrastructure. Can Durban port handle it? At this stage, not quite. They are handling some, but not as much as we would like to.
“But what we also need to take into consideration, are the cost factors that come into play. You suddenly have a massive increase in freighting out of Durban, availability of [reefer] containers, [and] logistics at the port which [have] a massive knock-on effect for pricing,” Greeve explains.
According to him, government is not putting enough effort to find solutions to the challenges of ports and freighting.
Greeve believes that if the problems at ports are solved, the economic benefits will be massive. “We will be able to move fruit quicker, more efficiently, pricing and competitiveness will be better. But most of all, brands or Africa will be protected.”
In the episode, Greeve also unpacks:
- Knock-on effects that influence the whole fruit value chain;
- Market advice for prospective new buyers; and
- Logistics potential solutions and much more.
Want to know more? Listen to the full episode of Farmer’s Inside Track.
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