Connect with us

Materials Handling

Covid-19 vaccine status in Africa



The distribution of the Covid-18 vaccine differs from other pharmaceutical distributions. It requires insurers of the pharmaceutical industry to collaborate with their clients to ensure safe transit.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says a target of fully vaccinating 10% of all people in Africa by the end of September won’t be achieved unless supplies improve.

Less than 4% of Africa’s population has been fully vaccinated, compared with around 54% in the US and 65% in the UK.

The WHO says African countries have so far received 177 million vaccine doses.

The global Covax vaccine scheme, intended to help poorer countries, has supplied about 37% of these, with the rest acquired through bilateral deals and donations from a variety of sources.

WHO data shows that 14 African countries have so far hit the target of 10% fully vaccinated, but many of the larger countries with the poorest populations are lagging far behind.

“Many of these [more highly vaccinated] countries are in the upper-middle or high-income brackets and have procured vaccines directly from manufacturers,” WHO Africa regional director Matshidiso Moeti says.

The WHO has projected that the continent needs a total of about 270 million vaccine doses to reach the target of 10% fully vaccinated by the end of this month.

Some African countries have managed to quickly use up their vaccine supplies, while others have had a slow uptake of jabs. The slow rate of vaccination is caused partly by issues around distributing the vaccines, such as the lack of health infrastructure, funding for medical supplies used during vaccination and staff. But there are fears that vaccine hesitancy and scepticism could be playing a role.

The WHO has called on African nations to push forward with their vaccination programs. It’s also pointed out that although overall case numbers are declining slightly in Africa, in some parts of the continent they are going up.

Continue Reading


New DHL Global Forwarding Investment Into Johannesburg Facility



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.

Continue Reading


South Africa’s Vaccine Rollout and What to Expect:



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.

Continue Reading

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’”.

Continue Reading