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Monday, 08 July 2024 13:06

Maersk warns of ship delays at South Africa coast due to adverse weather.

By Paul Burkhardt.

@ReutersPhoto.

AP Moller-Maersk has warned that extreme weather conditions and a storm surge lashing the South African coast are expected to cause shipping delays.

An intense cold front bringing snow to some areas of the country is resulting in damaging coastal winds, rains and waves that threaten infrastructure, the South African Weather Service forecast Sunday. High-speed winds winds could also pose difficulty to navigation in some offshore areas.

There's been an increase in vessels using the route as ships avoid attacks in the Red Sea. The impact of the disruption has been most acutely felt in container shipping, with about 690 vessels currently sailing around the Cape of Good Hope.

The conditions "will impact vessel movement and operations" along the South African coastline, over the next few days, especially between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, where the worst impact may occur, Maersk said in a statement on Monday. "Vessels are expected to seek shelter/alter their course to avoid the impacted areas, please expect delays over the next few days."

South Africa's state-owned logistics company Transnet is already struggling with turning around the performance of its ports, seeking private investment and replacing equipment that's more capable of operating in extreme weather. The harbors rank among the worst globally, according to a World Bank study whose methodology Transnet disputes.

The South African Weather Service predicted conditions through Monday including waves of up to 10 meters in the southwest, along with gale to strong gale force north-westerly to westerly winds and heavy rainfall.