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



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.

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Freight Forwarding

Sanral undertaking road improvement activities



The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) is undertaking a number of road improvement activities in several provinces.

It has noted in a series of media releases that it has recently awarded a contract for the resurfacing of National Road R33, Section 6, from Mkhondo to Amsterdam, in Mpumalanga.

This project aims to reduce the travelling times and ensure smooth riding quality with improved skid resistance, the entity says.

The high-level scope of the project includes site establishment, traffic accommodation, pretreatment of the existing road, edge-break repairs and construction of edge beams. Major work includes the base and surface patches, bridge joints repairs, seal construction and the painting of new road markings.

Other works to be undertaken are clearing and shaping of existing open drains, construction of subsoil drains where required and clearing of hydraulic structures and finishing offroad reserves.

The tender amount for the project was R91-million. The appointed consultant is Royal Mndawe, with Roadmac Surfacing as the contractor.

Further, Sanral has also awarded a contract for the resurfacing of National Road R33, Section 7, from Amsterdam to the N17 Intersection, in Mpumalanga.

This project aims to reduce the travel times, provide good riding quality and improved skid resistance on this section of the road, Sanral states.

The high-level scope comprises site establishment, traffic accommodation, pretreatment of existing road-edge break repairs and construction of edge beams. Major work includes base and surface patches, bridge joints repairs, seal construction and the painting of new road markings.

Other works to be undertaken will include clearing and shaping of existing open drains, construction of subsoil drains where required, the clearing of hydraulic structures and finishing off the road reserve.

The tender amount was R122-million. The appointed consultant is SKI Civil and Structural Engineers with Roadmac Surfacing as the contractor.

In addition, the agency has awarded a R79-million contract to repair the Merriespruit steel-ribbed culvert on the R33, which washed out owing to inclement weather, to G4 Civils as contractor and LEO Consulting and Superstructures as the consultant.

At the same time that the new Merriespruit bridge is being built, Sanral will also replace the rusted steel-ribbed culverts on the adjacent Brakspruit and Barberskuil streams with brand new reinforced concrete bridges.

Sanral noted that, when the three bridges are completed, the R33 will most likely be the preferred route between Vaalwater and Lephalale, as it is 25 km shorter than the alternative route.

The project’s high-level scope comprises establishing a small materials testing laboratory on site, including providing facilities for the engineer.

An operational borrow pit will be established and three single-lane temporary deviations constructed at the site of each new bridge. There will be a manually operated Stop-Go through the day and traffic light-controlled signals at night.

Additional work involves building road and drainage works, three reinforced concrete bridges, the erection of guardrails, road signs and applying road markings and road studs. Work will be done on protecting the slopes and establishing vegetation, and testing materials.


Sanral has also started with projects to improve and widen the existing single-carriageway road on National Road R37 between Burgersfort and the Modikwa mine turnoff.

The agency will upgrade the existing road and establish new intersections by building six roundabouts at the major intersections. Public transports stops will be built and will include bus bays and bus shelters.

The project’s scope also includes building sidewalks from intersections to bus bays, the construction of two new bridges and the widening of one other bridge. This project aims to improve the safety of pedestrians. The final road section will have four lanes, surfaced shoulders and a painted island.

The contractor is Edwin Construction, and the consultant is Ilifa Africa Engineers. The tender value is about R600-million.

Sanral has also awarded a contract for the resurfacing of the National Road R37 from Burgersfort km 0.0 to km 14.0.

The project’s scope includes re-gravelling shoulders, edge-break repairs, building edge beams at property entrances, intersections and taxi bays, cleaning hydraulic structures and culverts, replacing bridge joints where required, applying temporary and permanent road markings, installing permanent road studs, repairing, renewing, or installing new guardrails and finishing off the road reserve.

The project will improve the smooth riding quality and skid resistance of the pavement. It will also enhance job creation during construction, says Sanral.

The project amount of R48-million was awarded to contractor Actophambili Roads. The consultant is Quantra Consulting.


Sanral has awarded a contract to improve the R510 from Bierspruit to Thabazimbi, in Limpopo.

This road passes through chrome, iron-ore and platinum mining areas and, therefore, carries high traffic volumes and a high percentage of heavy vehicles.

The main travelling benefits of the improvement are safety and shorter travelling times, increased passing opportunities from adding passing lanes and 3-m-wide paved shoulders, Sanral posits.

The project will widen the existing carriageway and provide surfaced shoulders and passing lanes; strengthen the existing pavement by reworking existing layers; improve vertical and horizontal alignments and drainage, upgrade intersections, and lengthen and upgrade existing minor and major structures where there is insufficient capacity.

There will be access materials for base and sub-base construction from stockpiles in the surrounding areas owing to mining activities along the road.

The tender amount is R458-million, the consultant is Royal Haskoning and the contractor is Raubex Construction.


Lastly, Sanral has awarded contracts for the resurfacing of National Road R572 from Monte Christo to Rooigrond and from Rooigrond to Tom Burke, in Limpopo.

The high-level scope of the project includes the mobilisation period and site establishment, traffic accommodation, the required pretreatment of existing road-edge break repairs, constructing edge beams, base and surface patches, repairing bridge joints, constructing seals and applying road markings.

The contracts are valued at R82-million and R83-million, respectively.

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Freight Forwarding

Trucking the Freight Industry



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

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



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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