Top economist warns of SA being trampled by trade war elephants, the US and China

Ctrack SA - Mike Schussler_Logistics Barometer 2Mike Schussler

By John Fraser

Top economist Mike Schussler has warned that the fallout from the US-China trade war could trample emerging economies like SA.

He was speaking at the release of the new Ctrack Logistics Barometer, which will provide a unique insight into the health and development of the transport/logistics sector in SA.

He said he is already detecting ripples from the global trade unrest.

“You can see the volatility of international trade at sea in particular,” said Schussler, who heads

“Suppliers like SA are like grass in an elephant fight when the two big elephants fight – when the US and China are in a trade conflict.

“The Hong Kong protests add another complexity, and the Brexit divorce will also have an impact.”

Schussler explained that it has been many years since he compiled a Transport Barometer for Transnet, but said that his monthly data will again ensure the transport and logistics sector will be properly measured and tracked.

“When we measure it, it is 8.2% of GDP,” he said.   “It is as big as mining; bigger than agriculture.”

He also noted the key role the sector plays in keeping trade and the economy flowing.

“The Ctrack Logistics Barometer is our way of providing the transport and related sectors with quality, updated information about the state of the logistics industry in South Africa,” said Hein Jordt, managing director of Ctrack South Africa.

“The barometer allows the business community and media to better understand how the logistics industry in South Africa is performing. With this information, businesses involved in the sector are able to make better strategic decisions.”

C track image

The Ctrack Logistics Barometer can be viewed online at

As the above table shows, the maiden Ctrack Logistics Barometer shows that for the July quarter, the sector rose by 2.7% Q/Q – above the average GDP growth rate.

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