South Africa has a GDP of $350 billion.

In 2015, South Africa imported: $102B of goods
In 2015, South Africa exported: $106B of goods

Importing Freight from South Africa

South Africa has a long history of acting as a freight hub, starting with the Dutch establishing Cape Town as a re-supply point on the long arduous journey to the Spice Islands. Today the country is a top twenty performer in the World Bank’s logistics performance index. Even more impressive, given the next top ranked African country is Uganda at 58.

Most global logistics companies operate branch offices, but they are competing against two large local companies (in fact both are on the top ten African largest companies list) Imperial Holdings and The Bidvest Group.

For more information on importing from South Africa, refer to a real time, international freight index for prices and trends from the world’s largest freight rate database.

Top South African Export Commodities

Gold $11.9 billion
Diamonds $10.3 billion
Platinum $7.45 billion
Coal Briquettes $5.89 billion
Iron Ore $5.52 billion

South African Import Trends

Ocean Exports from the US to South Africa

Ocean Exports from China to South Africa

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List of Import/Export Ports in South Africa

Port UN Port Code
Port of Cape Town ZA CPT
Port of Durban ZA DUR
Port of East London ZA ELS
Port of Mossel Bay ZA MZY
Port of Ngqura  ZA NGQ
Port of Port Elizabeth ZA PLZ
Port of Port Nolloth ZA NOL
Port of Richards Bay ZA RCB
Port of Saldanha ZA SDB
Port of Naval Base Simon’s Town ZA SMN

Import Taxes From South Africa

  • The dutiable value of all goods imported into South Africa is calculated on FOB price (free on board) from the original country of export, (according to the WTO Customs Valuation Code).  
  • Duty rates in South Africa vary from 0% to 45%
  • VAT applies to most imports at 14% of the sum of FOB value
  • For more information on South Africa tax laws, please see here

For assistance with freight shipping calculations, see our tool here


Instantly compare freight quotes for importing from South Africa