SA stats show logistics in a slump worse than 2008
While it is difficult to obtain consolidated statistics for the Namibian logistics industry, a glimpse in a South African index provides a comparable indication of just how severe the disruption in transport and freight volumes is.
The Ctrack Freight & Transport Index is the broadest and earliest available data set for the movement of freight across South Africa. For the year to date period, it has contracted by -7.1% Its compilers said it is likely to show further declines over the next two months.
“The decline is consistent with a -3% to -4% slump in overall economic activity in the first quarter, thereby deepening the recession. We expect it to worsen before the economy starts to recover after the second quarter,” stated Ctrack Managing Director, Hein Jordt.
The quarterly decline of just over seven percent hides the impact of March which came to a staggering -10.6%. It must be assumed that a similar impact will be seen in Namibia. For some data points, the index uses estimates based on industry feedback but Ctrack is confident that these figures are 95% accurate.
The March implosion is the single biggest monthly contraction since the index started in January 2008. The decrease in March 2020 volumes is even more severe than in March 2008 when the financial crisis crippled the world’s economies. The conclusion is that the impact from the Corona virus so far is more severe than the financial meltdown of 2008/09.
“With profit margins of less than 4% in road freight and about 6% in rail, it is clear that many companies will struggle to survive without government help. The 10% drop in road freight in March is of grave concern, as the sector is the backbone of the economic value chain,” said Jordt.