CPPI: South Africa at the bottom, Cape Town the worst


The Container Port Performance Index ranks four South African ports among the worst, with Cape Town last, while East and Southeast Asian ports excelled in 2023.

South Africa at the bottom, Cape Town the worst
Cape Town container terminal

The recently released Container Port Performance Index (CPPI) reveals that four of South Africa’s ports continued to rank among the worst-performing in the world.

Cape Town is ranked in last place of the 405 ports listed in the CPPI. Ngqura (Coega) was ranked at 404, Durban at 398, and Port Elizabeth at 391.

Container terminals at these four ports are operated by the Transnet Port Terminals (TPT).

On the other hand, East and Southeast Asian ports excelled in 2023, accounting for 13 of the top 20 places.

The CPPI ranks 405 global container ports by efficiency, focusing on the duration of port stay for container vessels. Its primary aim is to identify areas for enhancement for the benefit of multiple stakeholders in the global trading system and supply chains, from ports to shipping lines, national governments, and consumers.

Developed by the World Bank and S&P Global Market Intelligence, the fourth edition of CPPI is based on the biggest dataset ever: more than 182,000 vessel calls, 238.2 million moves, and about 381 million TEU for the full calendar year of 2023. Regional disruptions impacted port performance everywhere, according to the new report.

“While the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath eased further in 2023, container shipping continues to be an unpredictable and volatile sector,” said Martin Humphreys, Lead Transport Economist at the World Bank. “Major ports need to invest in resilience, new technology, and green infrastructure to ensure the stability of global markets and the sustainability of the shipping industry.”

There are 57 new ports in the CPPI 2023, including Muuga Harbour in Estonia and Port of Al Duqm in Oman, as well as several notable movers. One of the major Indian ports, Visakhapatnam Port, made it into the top 20. Despite its relatively low ranking, Dar es Salaam Port in Tanzania managed to shave ship arrival times by 57%.

“There is a greater awareness and focus on resilience and efficiency of maritime gateways and greater understanding of the negative impact of port delays on economic development,” said Turloch Mooney, Head of Port Intelligence & Analytics at S&P Global Market Intelligence. “The highly interconnected nature of container shipping means the negative effect of poor performance in a port can extend beyond that port’s hinterland and disrupt entire schedules. This increases the cost of imports and exports, reduces competitiveness and hinders economic growth and poverty reduction.”

Looking at the top-performing ports, China’s Yangshan Port earned the top spot for the second consecutive year, while Oman’s Port of Salalah retained the number two position. The port of Cartagena in Colombia ascended to 3rd place. Tanger-Mediterranean of Morocco held steady in 4th, and Tanjung Pelepas Port in Malaysia rounded out the top 5.

The full index can be found HERE.