Original Research

Forecasting South African containers for international trade: A commodity-based approach

Jan H. Havenga, Joubert van Eeden
Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management | Vol 5, No 1 | a72 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jtscm.v5i1.72 | © 2011 Jan H. Havenga, Joubert van Eeden | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 November 2011 | Published: 30 November 2011

About the author(s)

Jan H. Havenga, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
Joubert van Eeden, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

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The most common approach used internationally for forecasting international trade containers is models based on the correlation between container trade and economic growth. While the strong historical correlation is indisputable, this paper argues that there will be saturation in the propensity to containerise as all the suitable volumes of the underlying commodities shift to containers over time. In addition, the link between freight transport and GDP will decouple as more sustainable approaches to economic development, and therefore freight transport, are necessitated by economic and environmental realities. A commodity-based model, taking into account the underlying drivers of containerisation, is proposed here as a more realistic forecast of container demand. This could have a material impact on how large-scale investment decisions are directed.


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