A further notice is required regarding this subject and unfortunately the uncertainty continues.

The Port Authority insists that our industry evacuate all cargo from the Ports to avoid Port Congestion which could ultimately lead to Port Authority having to turn away vessels carrying Essential goods. However we are receiving reports from the Roadfreight Industry about drivers being arrested for carrying Non-Essential cargo.

Groupage Operators are also claiming that “There is still uncertainty in terms of categorizing  the movement of essential and non-essential cargo and that only identified essential cargo will be given priority until further clarification is received”

That said, we expect amended notices from the major Shipping Lines in the next 24-hours further to the announcement by Minister Fikile Mbalula “We have taken note of concerns raised by industry of limiting the movement of cargo only to essential cargo. We have therefore resolved this matter and all cargo will be allowed passage“ https://www.gov.za/speeches/minister-fikile-mbalula-implementation-transport-directions-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Taking the above into consideration please note the below:

  1. We are unable to bind ourselves to any road transport rates quoted as supply will be based on
    • limited supply; and/or
    • in the case of Durban-Johannesburg we may need to pay haulers for the round-trip as there is limited / no export cargoes to subsidize
  2. You are likely to be liable for, and we are not able to accept any liability for, additional costs or penalties (including, without limitation: demurrage, overstay, port or terminal storage, late turn charges) which arise from or are related to the nationwide lock-down.
  3. Unfortunately, this does not seem to have resulted in an amendment to the Gazette and/or filtered through to Border Post authorities who are still only allowing movement of Essential Goods, but we expect that will change soon and we are pressuring SARS Officials accordingly.

Naturally, we will engage with the relevant authorities and service providers on your behalf in an attempt to minimise any such liability, costs or penalties.

We remain at your disposal for any questions or additional information.

Keep safe and regards,

Ziegler South Africa (Pty) Ltd
Sean Moore