Ocean Freight Transportation to South Africa

South Africa, the southernmost country on the continent of Africa, is the 25th-largest country in the world by land area. With close to 53 million people, it is also the world’s 24th most-populous nation. The country has significant regional influence, and has been identified as a middle power in international affairs. Learn more about ocean freight transportation to South Africa, and give your business access to the continent.

South Africa has the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa in terms of PPP, and its economy is second only to Nigeria’s in terms of African economies. The country is considered an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank, and it is ranked as a newly industrialised country. South Africa has a diversified economy, with a sizable and growing African middle class.

Among South Africa’s principal international trading partners are other countries on the continent, as well as Germany, the United States, and China. Its chief exports include corn, diamonds, and fruits. Ocean freight transportation to South Africa is something all exporters should explore.

Full Container Load (FCL) or Groupage (LCL)

Either a full container load (FCL) or groupage (less-than-container load, or LCL) are your shipping choices when you are shipping a container to South Africa.

A 40-foot container carries 22 standard pallets; a 20-foot container accommodates 10 standard pallets. If your shipment is equal to at least half of a 20-foot container (six standard pallets or more), you will need a full container load (FCL).

Whatever the volume of your shipment, FCL is also your best option if you want to avoid any potential risk of damage to your goods that could be caused by contact with other exporters’ merchandise.

You may want to opt for LCL-a shared container, also called groupage-if separation of goods isn’t an issue. This will require you to pay only for the space you need. Consult iContainers for rates and other important information.

Ocean Freight Routes to South Africa

  • Port of Cape Town
    Cape Town is one of the busiest ports in South Africa, located along one of the world’s busiest trade routes. It is second only to Durban as a container port, and handles the largest amount of fresh fruit of any South African port. The port is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and has significant repair and maintenance facilities. In 2010, Cape Town handled 719,825 TEUs.
  • Port of Durban
    Durban Harbour, as this port is familiarly known, is the southern hemisphere’s fourth-largest container terminal; in 2012, it handled 2,568,124 TEUs. This is South Africa’s main cargo and container port, strategically placed on major international shipping routes. It handles up to 31.4 million tons of cargo annually.
  • Port of Johannesburg
    The container terminal, located at City Deep in Johannesburg, is the world’s largest dry port. Some 50 percent of cargo that arrives through the ports of Durban and Cape Town arrives here.
  • Port Elizabeth
    This port is equipped to handle general cargo, dry and liquid bulk, and container cargo. Its break-bulk terminal has six berths of over 3,800 feet, two bulk berths totalling roughly 1,180 feet, and a tanker berth of nearly 800 feet. The port’s container terminal is one of only five in South Africa, and has three berths of over 3,000 feet in length, as well as a storage area of 54 acre, with 5,400 ground slots for stacking purposes.

Air Freight Transportation to South Africa

You may wish to investigate air freight instead of ocean freight if you are working against a short deadline or your shipment is urgent, This does impose some limitations on your shipment in terms of volume and weight; iContainers provides a calculator to help you determine whether this is the right option for you.