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AARTO Implementation a Big Concern says The Road Freight Association

SCN Africa



The Road Freight Association (RFA) is working with all relevant role-players to ensure that the proposed Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) regulations are properly considered before implementation and that AARTO will achieve its main purpose of ensuring road safety – if implemented at all. This is according to the Association’s Chief Executive Officer, Gavin Kelly.

When the latest set of proposed regulations were published for public comment in October 2019, the RFA once again highlighted the pitfalls, weaknesses, severe risk to sustained business and nonsensical proposals that were being made, all in the name of ‘road safety’. Says Kelly: “The proposed regulations had vehicles being held ‘accountable’ for the behaviour of drivers (in some cases) or operator/owners in other cases. How do you change the behaviour of a vehicle?”

In its efforts to ensure that AARTO achieve its main objective ie. road safety, the RFA has been working closely with a number of organisations including the Department of Transport (DoT), the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA), the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC), Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) and Justice Project South Africa (JPSA).

The AARTO Act was promulgated in 1998 with the sole aim of addressing bad (unsafe) behaviour on our roads,  by implementing a demerit point system for drivers, vehicles and operators resulting in licences, permits and operator cards being suspended or cancelled.

“Fast forward to 2020 and, notwithstanding much interaction between the various government authorities tasked with implementing AARTO (DoT, the RTIA and the RTMC) and we are no closer to a reasonable and effective implementation of any kind,” says Kelly.

Kelly says that the RFA continues to advocate for a properly focused, resourced and pro-active road traffic policing strategy by all authorities concerned – not the currently proposed cumbersome and questionable point demerit system and all the costs linked to operating it. Proof of achieving better behaviour on the roads was loudly proclaimed by the Minister of Transport regarding the recent successes achieved in the December 2019 festive season traffic safety strategy.

“The RFA does not see how issuing points to vehicles will change the behaviour of people, but it will definitely go a long way to destroying both the resale value of vehicles, as well as the capex value within various businesses,” he continues. “The authorities need to focus on changing driver behaviour, rather than on a system aimed at collecting revenue to support an administrative system. The RFA supports interventions which serve to improve the safety of the country’s roads and reduce incidents, injuries and fatalities. One of the key priorities of the RFA is the safety of all drivers on our roads and we have no objection in principle to a demerit system applied to South African drivers.”

Many countries have successful driver systems with demerit points; However, these are all easy to use, fair, effective and not based on generating revenue at every point in the process. “The system must assist in improving driving standards, and thereby contribute to reducing accidents, injuries and fatalities,” adds Kelly.

He concludes: “The RFA believes that AARTO could be very effective if the proposed regulations were amended to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and costs. Demerit access systems have been  successfully implemented in other countries. These systems have a fair fine re-direction process and no vehicle demerit points.”

The RFA will be offering a series of workshops on AARTO over the coming months.

Freight Forwarding

Trucking the Freight Industry

Bernita Marais



Trucks with valuable freight travel South Africa as well and neighbouring countries continuously. Across South Africa truck hijackings and cargo theft is being reported on the daily – as much as 90% of these hijackings involve an inside source tipping off criminals with crucial information.

Over the last decade, the freight industry reported 11,112 truck heists, an average of 1,110 within a year. The top commodities being stolen during 2018/19 included soybeans, diesel, yellow maize, and biscuits –  costing the economy R10 billion a year.

Trucks carrying alcohol also see a large number of hijackings and attacks, especially over the Easter and festive months when sales spike and prices rise. The truck robberies have become more violent with many criminals presenting themselves as police or traffic officers bringing vehicles to a standstill, and once criminals have stopped a truck it is at their mercy. Small arms and high calibre weapons are being used by these criminals – making these syndicates “sophisticated” and able to strike with an unprecedented level of precision and force.

Apart from the freight on board, criminals also target trucks to strip the parts. The freight industry incurs major financial losses on top of COVID-19 and drivers become reluctant to drive unsafe routes or times.

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Freight Forwarding

EU Trade Portal Receives More Than 450 Applications in Its First Week – Here comes Brexit

SCN Africa



Since its launch last week EU Trade Portal have received in excess of 450 member applications; all UK exports will soon have to abide by full customs procedures and many controlled goods will need to have additional licenses or followa dditional procedures.

“Leaving the customs union means that instantly it is more difficult for goods to travel. Those with complex supply chains will be hardest hit,” says Chris Slowey of Manfreight N.I., one of the largest freight companies in the UK, “I watch the EU/UK negotiations appalled, preparing avalanches of paperwork post Brexit.”  Chris Slowey thinks few companies are ready for the Brexit paperwork and procedure shock.

Chris’s quotes highlight the urgent need for a clear concise approach to the problem of Brexit for businesses. The EU Trade Portal provides a transparent and automated environment for cross-border customs procedures and practices, documentation requirements, freight and transit operations, trade, and transport arrangements.

The EU Trade Portal was established to help all businesses to complete the customs documentation and necessary registrations to be Brexit ready.

Read the complete article

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Freight Forwarding

Technology, Automation and the Future of Transport – Thriving in an Age of Disruption

Catherine Larkin



We are living in a VUCA world – a place that is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. The new waves of change are rapid and innovation is faster than ever. The new waves present both opportunities and threats and can be both creative or destructive. This is one of the key messages presented by author and business transformation expert Sean Culey during a recent webinar hosted by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT).

During the session Culey said that the changes were circular that these Waves of Creative Destruction were getting stronger and faster and had greater impact.

“We are living in the Sixth Wave – this is a time of power battles and paradigm shifts,” said Culey. Some of the fundamental paradigm shifts in the supply chain were that we had moved from:

Company in control  Consumer now in control
Single channelOmni-channel
Consumer travels to retailerRetailer delivers to consumer
Linear push supply chainsCyclical pull value chains
ProductsServices and experiences

“The problem of this for supply chains is that this creates far more complexity,” said Culey. “This new business model increases the complexity exponentially. In the past it was a push supply chain: we now have consumer-centric networks.”

In the Sixth Wave, retailer deliver wherever the consumer wants. The supply chain is no longer about bulk delivery to a store, but rather about many deliveries of smaller units. Returns/reverse logistics has soared: According to Gartner, two thirds of e-commerce customers check their returns policy before making a buying decision and 30% of e-commerce sales are returned.

Retail Apocalypse

As a result of this, the Retail Apocalypse is accelerating: researchers estimate that up to 25 000 retail stores could close in 2020. Fashion store Zara has closed up to 1 200 fashion stores around the world. More than 13 200 stores had closed in 2020 so far.

The Consumer Experience

“New retail malls have to offer more than just shopping,” continued Culey. “They need to focus on building consumer experiences and creating the ‘wow’ factor. People don’t go to a mall anymore just to buy things!”


This massive shift has created opportunities – Culey highlighted just a few:

  • Personalisation (differentiated consumer offerings, increased focus on experiences and convenience, combined experiences – eating, entertainment, shopping, personal experiences and offers
  • Automation – fully automated warehouses in urban locations
  • Localisation
  • Sustainability – servitisation – space as a service, sharing business models – shared occupancy/flexible space, green buildings with renewable power sources, eco-parks/smart cities

Culey warned that the disruption had only just begun and would have a massive impact. But along with this came opportunities.

“Successful digital transformation is not actually about technology,” he concluded. “It’s about transforming the mindset, culture and strategy of the organisation. The ‘what’ and ‘how’ of technology only makes sense when it is applied to a compelling ‘why’”.

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