The contribution of seaborne commerce to the South African economy.
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The dissertation seeks to address the contribution of seaborne commerce in the South African economy. Basically the research is trying to look at the development of the carriage of goods by sea to and from South Africa, and the related development of the maritime transport industry, and how these contribute to the economic growth of the country. South Africa is regarded as a maritime country, which is substantiated by its commercial ports and the very substantial cargo flows that pass through those ports. The research interrogates the gaps which have been highlighted such as the question of how to develop a maritime industry when cargo owners are not involved in the transport arrangements. There is not much available literature about the contribution of seaborne commerce to the South African economy. South Africa has a large trade volume; however this large volume does not necessarily mean that it has a competitive advantage in transporting those commodities. South Africa it is not a significant ship operating nation. Cargo movements are not controlled by South African cargo owners, but rather by our foreign buyers and suppliers. South Africa exports the majority of bulk cargoes and that is a vital part of the South African economy and generates a substantial amount of the country’s foreign exchange. This dissertation interrogates those terms of shipment, which are dominated by FOB exports sales, notably in bulk exports. The ruling commercial terms of shipment have considerable influence over the benefits the country receives from the maritime industry. This represents a substantial loss of potential revenue in invisible earnings for the country's service account of the balance of payments. This dissertation recommends that a feasibility study be undertaken for the contribution of seaborne commerce to the economic growth of the country.