National Lockdown Severely Disrupts Logistics Operations in South Africa

On March 23, President Cyril Ramaphosa implemented a wide-ranging nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. Cargo movements are likely to be directly affected until at least May 1

On March 23, South Africa implemented a nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The measure is currently scheduled to last until May 1. The lockdown is particularly wide-ranging; only goods and services related to sustenance and public health are considered essential, halting virtually all other production. The measure has affected all modes of cargo movement, with increased port berth waiting times, land border crossing closures, and decreased flight cargo capacity reported. Non-essential cargo movement has been deprioritized or is forbidden in some circumstances. However, exceptions for specific non-essential industrial activities or cargo movements may be possible. South Africa’s position as a critical supplier of raw materials, manufactured goods, and agricultural products is likely to impact supply chains across the world as businesses halt or reduce operations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 nationally.

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