South Africa Freight and Logistics Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

South Africa Freight and Logistics Market is segmented by Function (Freight Transport, Freight Forwarding, Warehousing, and Value-added Services, and Other Functions) and End User (Manufacturing and Automotive, Oil and Gas, Mining, and Quarrying, Agriculture, Fishing, and Forestry, Construction, Distributive Trade, Healthcare and Pharmaceutical, and Other End Users).

Market Snapshot

South Africa Freight and Logistics Market
Study Period: 2018-2027
Base Year: 2021
CAGR: >4 %

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Market Overview

The South African Freight and Logistics Market are estimated to witness a CAGR of approximately 4% during the forecast period.

Major shifts in transport patterns due to COVID-19 have a major impact on a large part of freight transport in the way they have to organize businesses supported by logistics to keep growing profits.

Regulations were also reviewed to respond to the changes in the sector. In February 2021, the cabinet approved the revised White Paper on National Transport Policy, still to be gazetted, that incorporates changes in the road, rail, maritime, and aviation sectors and aligns the total transport sector to international, regional, and continental transportation trends.

With consumers demanding ever-faster delivery times, and the high costs associated with servicing the last mile, retailers and logistics operators are pushing to improve their distribution models, reduce inefficiencies, and hold stock closer to consumers. This strong occupier demand to hold stock within urban areas is supporting investor sentiment.

In South Africa, requirements for new, modern, and efficient distribution centers remain stable, and demand has outperformed all other asset classes and industrial sub-segments, resulting in an overall income return of 9.2% and capital growth of 0.8% in 2020-21. A good example of the focus on prime warehousing space has been Takealot’s recent leasing of approximately 11,000 sq. m. of space in Montague Park in Montague Gardens.

Scope of the Report

A complete background analysis of the South African freight and logistics market, which includes an assessment of the economy and contribution of sectors in the economy, market overview, market size estimation for key segments, and emerging trends in the market segments, market dynamics, and logistics spending by the end-user industries are covered in the report. The South African Freight and Logistics Market is segmented by Function (Freight Transport, Freight Forwarding, Warehousing, and Value-added Services, and Other Functions) and End User (Manufacturing and Automotive, Oil and Gas, Mining, and Quarrying, Agriculture, Fishing, and Forestry, Construction, Distributive Trade, Healthcare and Pharmaceutical, and Other End Users).

By Function
Freight Transport
Shipping and Inland Water
Freight Forwarding
Value-added Services and Others
By End User
Manufacturing and Automotive
Oil and Gas, Mining, and Quarrying
Distributive Trade (Wholesale and Retail Segments and FMCG included)
Agriculture, Fishing, and Forestry
Healthcare and Pharmaceutical
Other End Users

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Key Market Trends

Increase in Exports To Drive the Market

South Africa is experiencing a record trade surplus in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the exports far outpacing imports.

South Africa's trading partners have seen increased growth in their economies, driving their demand for South African products.

These export flows have been channeled into key trading partners in Asia, including China – South Africa's largest trading partner – Japan, and India. The US, Europe (especially Germany), the UK, and the Netherlands have also increased their demand for local products, and so have Namibia, Botswana, and Mozambique.

Key commodity and product drivers include agricultural commodities such as citrus, maize, apples, and grapes; manufactured goods including local machinery and equipment as well as motor vehicles; and major mining outputs including precious metals, iron ore, and manganese.

  • The country's cumulative trade surplus for the first four months of 2021 now stands at SAR 147.83 billion, compared with a trade deficit of SAR 4.41 billion over the same period in 2020.
South Africa Freight and Logistics Market

Increase in retail Sales To Provide More Opportunities

BLACK Friday deals in South Africa boosted retail activity to rise above market expectations in November 2021, buoyed by a rise in clothing and general dealers’ sales. Data from Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) showed that retail trade sales surged by 3.3% in November from a year earlier, up from an upwardly revised 1.9% rise in the previous month.

This was the third consecutive month of growth in retail activity and the strongest since June 2021, well ahead of the market’s forecast of a 2% increase. Six of the seven major categories of sales recorded annual expansion in November 2021.

  • However, retail activity was mainly boosted by sales of textiles, clothing, footwear, and leather goods, which rose to 10.3% in November from 6.2% in October 2021. General dealers also recorded robust growth of 3.6% from 0.3% the previous month. The only category that contracted was “hardware, paint, and glass,” which declined for the fifth consecutive month in November, easing by 0.2%.
South Africa Freight and Logistics Market 2

Competitive Landscape

The market landscape is fragmented in nature, and most of the players are small- and medium-sized firms providing low-value-added logistics services. The market is competitive due to the presence of domestic and international freight and logistics companies. Companies are seen adapting to the latest technological advancements to provide better services to the customers, which will further increase the competition.

Recent Developments

  • March 2021: Dachser South Africa expanded its Durban operations to a new 3,600 sq. m. warehouse in Pinetown, Durban. The new off-loading and loading bays have increased their capacity to handle a number of containers at a time, enabling them to offer excellent turn-around times.
  • February 2022: The Tribunal conditionally approved the merger wherein DP World Logistics FZE (DP World), ultimately owned by the Dubai government, intends to acquire the South African firm Imperial Logistics Limited (Imperial). Following the implementation of the merger, DP World will solely control Imperial.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study


    1. 2.1 Analysis Methodology

    2. 2.2 Research Phases



    1. 4.1 Current Market Scenario

    2. 4.2 Technological Trends and Automation

    3. 4.3 Government Regulations and Initiatives

    4. 4.4 Brief on Freight Rates

    5. 4.5 Insights on Intermodal Transportation

    6. 4.6 Review and Commentary on South Africa's Relation with Other African Countries

    7. 4.7 Impact of COVID-19


    1. 5.1 Drivers

    2. 5.2 Restraints

    3. 5.3 Opportunities

    4. 5.4 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 5.4.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 5.4.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers

      3. 5.4.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 5.4.4 Threat of Substitutes

      5. 5.4.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 6.1 By Function

      1. 6.1.1 Freight Transport

        1. Road

        2. Shipping and Inland Water

        3. Air

        4. Rail

      2. 6.1.2 Freight Forwarding

      3. 6.1.3 Warehousing

      4. 6.1.4 Value-added Services and Others

    2. 6.2 By End User

      1. 6.2.1 Manufacturing and Automotive

      2. 6.2.2 Oil and Gas, Mining, and Quarrying

      3. 6.2.3 Distributive Trade (Wholesale and Retail Segments and FMCG included)

      4. 6.2.4 Agriculture, Fishing, and Forestry

      5. 6.2.5 Construction

      6. 6.2.6 Healthcare and Pharmaceutical

      7. 6.2.7 Other End Users


    1. 7.1 Market Concentration Overview

    2. 7.2 Company Profiles

      1. 7.2.1 Dachser South Africa (PTY) Ltd

      2. 7.2.2 Orange Pallet Ltd

      3. 7.2.3 Imperial Managed Logistics (PTY) Ltd

      4. 7.2.4 Kuehne +Nagel (PTY) Ltd

      5. 7.2.5 FedEx Express

      6. 7.2.6 Megafreight Services (PTY) Ltd

      7. 7.2.7 CHEP

      8. 7.2.8 F H Bertling Logistics (PTY) Ltd

      9. 7.2.9 CFR Freight South Africa (PTY) Ltd

      10. 7.2.10 Toll Global

      11. 7.2.11 Bopang Distribution & Logistics (PTY) Ltd

      12. 7.2.12 Heneways Freight Services (PTY) Ltd

      13. 7.2.13 FPT Group (PTY) Ltd

      14. 7.2.14 Green Jacket Freight (PTY) Ltd

      15. 7.2.15 Local Freight Services (PTY) Ltd*

    3. *List Not Exhaustive
    4. 7.3 Other Companies

  8. 8. APPENDIX

    1. 8.1 GDP Distribution, by Activity, Key Countries

    2. 8.2 Insights on Capital Flows

    3. 8.3 Economic Statistics -Transport and Storage Sector, Contribution to Economy of Key Countries

    4. 8.4 External Trade Statistics- Export and Import, by Product

    5. 8.5 Insights on Key Export Destinations

    6. 8.6 Insights on Key Import Origin Countries

**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The South Africa Freight and Logistics Market market is studied from 2018 - 2027.

The South Africa Freight and Logistics Market is growing at a CAGR of >4% over the next 5 years.

DACHSER SOUTH AFRICA (PTY) LTD, ORANGE PALLET (PTY) LTD, IMPERIAL MANAGED LOGISTICS (PTY) LTD, KUEHNE AND NAGEL (PTY) LTD, CHEP are the major companies operating in South Africa Freight and Logistics Market.

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