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Thermo Shield improves transport safety

SCN Africa



The majority of battery packs or cells are produced in Asia and shipped to the Western Hemisphere. As a result, the containers are at sea for long periods of time. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reports that during shipping a lithium battery explosion occurs every ten days.

PACT, a supplier of packaging and crating technologies has developed and successfully launched a paper-based, fire-resistant shipping wrap that actively and automatically cools the internal environment of a corrugated container.

It is a lightweight pleated material with a non-toxic moisture vapour barrier. The product limits external oxygen supply & prevents fumes or gasses from escaping from the container.

The product is lightweight and reusable and therefore adds to cost efficiency.

As a result of this invention PACT, has been accepted as a member of the Council on Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA), a not-for-profit industry association devoted to promoting dangerous goods transportation compliance both domestically and abroad.

Reference: Supply Chain Management Review


New DHL Global Forwarding Investment Into Johannesburg Facility

Bernita Marais



While it is much to early to fully grasp the economic impact of the current Covid-19 pandemic DHL has invested R127-million in a new 13 000 m2 facility.  Twice the size of its current set-up and located next to the OR Tambo International Airport aimed at cementing its position within South Africa.

This new facility will consist of a 10 000 m2 warehouse that enables DHL Forwarding consolidation on all customer warehousing requirements. It will also boast will an exclusive and specialized cold chain facility that consists of three adjustable temperature-controlled refrigerators geared to handle life science and healthcare products in and out of South Africa.

The warehouse is also able to support other value-added services including cross-docking, storage for air, ocean, and road freight services, as well as a platform for breakbulk cargo.  The customised built on the world-class specification with the location only a short distance from the airport and arterial thoroughfares and upcoming industrial parks, will make this new facility a complete game changer for DHL within the country.

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South Africa’s Vaccine Rollout and What to Expect:

Bernita Marais



As mentioned by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night a deal was struck with the Serum Institute of India (SII) and will see South Africa get a million Covid-19 vaccine doses before the end of January and a further 500, 000 doses are due in February.

The President also mentioned that a comprehensive strategy has been put in place to reach all parts of the country.  It will also be far more extensive than the HIV treatment programme or even the national, provincial, and local elections in terms of the number of people who must be reached within a short time span.

Dozens of countries, both rich and poor, have started implementing a mass vaccination programme, including the US, Italy, and Saudi Arabia.  During the announcement it was also mentioned that the vaccination rollout will be divided into three-phases, in which phase one would prioritise frontline healthcare workers, phase two would target 16 million individuals that include essential service workers, people with comorbidities and the elderly, with phase three focusing on a further 22 million people.

A person who has been vaccinated has a much slimmer chance of becoming ill and dying from Covid-19.  When enough people have been vaccinated, we will reach what is knows as ‘population immunity’ meaning when enough of the population is immune to the virus to provide indirect protection to those who are not immune, reducing the spread and bringing the virus under control.

 The Department of Health is playing its cards very close to its chest and has been extremely reluctant to provide any logistical detail of how a vaccination rollout will work.

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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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