May 18, 2023 / by Maria Lopez Isnardi - Global Head of Research

South Africa & Logistics

South Africa’s trade position has undergone a significant transformation, achieving a surplus of 3.3% of GDP in its balance of goods during 2022. According to the IMF, export growth has been 10% for 2021 and 7.5% during 2022. This is a remarkable accomplishment, considering the recent disruptions to global value chains, which have highlighted the critical importance of trade and transport-related infrastructure, such as ports, roads, railways, and information technology.

According to the World Bank’s 7th edition of Connecting to Compete 2023, South Africa is ranked 19th out of 139 countries for trade logistics performance. The Logistics Performance Index considers six key components including, the efficiency of customs and border management clearance, the quality of trade- and transport-related infrastructure, the ease of arranging competitively priced international shipments, the competence and quality of logistics services, the ability to track and trace consignments, and the frequency with which shipments reach consignees within the scheduled or expected delivery time.

South Africa’s score of 3.7 out of 5 is on par with other upper middle income countries, such as Australia, China, Greece, Italy, Norway, and the United Kingdom, and outperforms the 2.5 average score of similar income level countries.

With 130 economic partners, exports have become an increasingly important part of South Africa’s economy. However, weak economic growth and electricity supply shortages present ongoing challenges. Investing in the energy sector, increasing product diversification, together with initiatives that can leverage the country’s existing trade infrastructure are needed to ensure sustainable growth.

© Copyright 2023 - Delphos International