4 things that motorists need to know
Most drivers would by now be acquainted with the new guidelines to competition in the South African automotive aftermarket. There is still uncertainty out there, however, in terms of what this really means for the general motorist. Kate Elliott, chief executive officer of Right to Repair South Africa (R2RSA), offers four things that consumers need to know about the new rules to help clear things up.
1. You have the right to choose your service provider
Independent service providers can now service and perform maintenance on cars both during the in-warranty period and after. “You may choose to service your vehicle at the dealer from whom you purchased your vehicle, or you can elect to shop around for the best possible price and service quality,” says Elliott.
2. Your warranty is protected no matter which service provider you choose
Elliott says previously, motor manufacturers would void the warranty if a vehicle was not serviced at the dealership. The Competition Commission has now declared this practice as incompatible with the Competition Act.
3. You are entitled to use non-original spare parts
With cost always being an issue, the good news is that consumers can now shop around and are entitled to use non-original spare parts (for example oil filters) in your vehicle during your vehicle’s in-warranty period and manufacturers are not entitled to void your warranty. “It is no different to selecting a generic antibiotic – the same just more cost-effective,” she says.
4. Unbundling of service/maintenance plans from the price of a vehicle
When you buy a car, vehicle retailers are now obliged to provide you with separate prices for your vehicle and for any value-added products that they might have on offer, such as service and maintenance plans.
Car retailers are also obliged to sell you a new vehicle without a service or maintenance plan if you do not wish to purchase one. “You do the maths,” she says, “and you may be pleasantly surprised at just how much you can knock off the purchase price of your car.”
Enhancing Road Safety For A Smoother Supply Chain In SA
As a country and economy heavily reliant on efficient transportation, road safety in South Africa is one of the many challenges in the lives of every South African citizen and to businesses transporting goods on our roads.
Road safety or the lack thereof can have an extremely unpleasant and often dangerous effect on the lives of everyday citizens and cause major disruptions to the supply chain and economy.
To achieve an uninterrupted supply of goods and services we must address road safety promptly. In this article, we will discuss the impacts of road safety on the supply chain in South Africa and ways we can solve or reduce existing issues.
The Impact of Accidents on South Africa’s supply chain
Road accident events cause a significant challenge to the supply chain in South Africa. This is because these incidents cause a backlog of traffic to build up on the routes which they affect. This causes both delays to the transportation of goods and worse, claims thousands of lives per year in South Africa.
The results of transportation delays are wide-reaching, stretching from reduced customer satisfaction, increased transportation costs and a decrease in general productivity. These negative effects have a ripple effect on the transportation aspect of the supply chain. This ripple effect continues down to cost the basic of goods for citizens, as a result, we need to highlight the need for greater road safety and address these problems quickly and effectively.
Enhancing the driver
One solution to this problem is enhancing driver training programs, doing so will allow drivers to operate at a higher standard of road safety. Transportation companies should consider a partnership with the relevant local authorities to implement standardised road safety training for their drivers. By enhancing driver skills and knowledge, the supply chain can benefit from improved accident prevention and reap the rewards of a more efficient transportation system.
Using technology-based solutions can significantly contribute to road safety and enhance the efficiency of the supply chain. Transport companies can adopt telematics systems that provide real-time data on vehicle location, speed, and driver behaviour.
This information can be used by companies to monitor driver performance, identify risky driving patterns, and implement corrective measures swiftly. Moreover, integrating GPS systems and route optimisation tools can help optimise delivery routes, reduce travel time, and minimise exposure to potential road hazards.
Some issues cannot be avoided.
While there are many precautions you can take personally as a business I.e., upskilling your drivers and implementing high-tech solutions to warn drivers of possible hazards.
The fact remains that the wider population of drivers on South African roads remains out of your complete control. Poor road infrastructure is another area of concern as poorly maintained roads can not only damage your vehicles, but they can also cause crashes on badly maintained roads.
However, both enhancing driver training and equipping drivers with technological solutions will allow you to mitigate some of the risks by either rerouting transportation or allowing drivers to have the skills necessary to avoid collisions with reckless drivers and poor infrastructure-based hazards.
Promoting road safety in South Africa is not only a matter of saving lives but also a critical factor in ensuring the smooth function of a robust supply chain. By enhancing transport systems and implementing measures to prevent road accidents, the supply chain can operate with improved efficiency, reduced costs, and increased customer satisfaction.
The Benefits of Outsourcing Transportation To A 3rd Party (3PL)
Outsourcing the transport element of logistics has become more popular in recent years for a good reason. 3PLs specialise in logistics and have become extremely effective at managing the transport aspect of the industry. The range of different benefits 3PLs provide is impressive and these benefits are what we are going to be discussing below in the context of transportation.
Efficiency in both time and price
Firstly, let us talk about efficiency the primary benefit of 3PL is the increased efficiency that they bring to operations. For example, a 3PL can leverage existing technology in its network to optimise routes and speed up delivery times.
However, the benefits do not end there 3PLs also come with the advantage of having pre-established relationships with carriers meaning they can effectively negotiate improved rates and bring down the total cost of the operation.
3PLs scale and evolve with your business
Over time you may find that your business has grown and evolved and as a result, the transportation needs of the business will also change. The second benefit of 3PLs is that it supports the growth of your business by offering flexibility. As your business expands, 3PLs can adapt swiftly to meet the changing transportation requirements.
Improved Customer Service
Outsourcing transportation to a 3PL can also help improve customer service. 3PLs have the expertise to manage complex transportation needs, including multi-modal transportation, cross-border logistics, and last-mile delivery.
This helps to ensure products are delivered on time, in the right condition, and to the correct location. By providing reliable and efficient transportation services, a company can improve its customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.
A larger network
Another advantage you can leverage by partnering with a 3PL is the size of their network. This allows you to transport your products to a broader range of locations with minimal additional investment from your business. Furthermore, a larger network enables 3PLs to manage transportation risks, such as delays, more effectively. In case of a route closure or blockage, a 3PL with a well-established network can quickly and efficiently reroute the transportation of goods.
Outsourcing transportation to a 3PL offers a range of benefits for businesses of all sizes. By leveraging the expertise and resources of a 3PL, companies can reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve customer service. This can help businesses stay competitive in today’s rapidly changing economic environment.
Five biggest risk factors to the freight transportation industry in South Africa.
As a producing nation, the logistics industry is our economic backbone. As such its important to keep our main forms of cargo transportation working in the most efficient state possible however there are various risk factors that can negatively affect this transportation industry.
These risk factors can affect your ability to maintain a working fleet, and quite possibly halt entire fleets of trucks.
This article will focus on ground freight services and explore the 5 major challenges freight transportation services face in South Africa.
1. Truck driver hijackings in South Africa.
Starting things off with one of the top threats that affect transportation, states that according to Statista there were 4983 truck hijackings between the period of 2018 to 2021.
Not only is this a huge loss for the various companies transporting goods, but it also brings the industry’s ability to move cargo into question. This is also a safety concern from the point of view of the truck drivers themselves, as very few people wish to work at a job that could put their life at risk.
This element of risk was put on full display during the July 2021 riots when trucks were looted and torched making this issue one of the more unpredictable risk factors on this list and one of the most damaging to both the reputation of the transportation industry, and the value of the cargo that is lost.
2. Trucker strikes / indirect strikes.
Strikes can have a huge impact on not only the economy, but also the freight transportation industry as well, these can either take the form of direct strikes from truck drivers themselves which have a more direct impact on the industry, or through indirect strikes affecting any number of routes.
In the case of third-party strikes, these disrupt freight services by shutting down transport routes or preventing drivers from getting to and from their destinations.
This is a problem because in the event of a strike which affects major transport routes goods services may either need to be diverted which could cause a further fuel cost or halted in place once the trucks reach the area affected.
3. South Africa’s Poor Road infrastructure and its effects on the health of your fleet.
The poor state of roads is not only a concern for the daily driver, but also a problem that the freight industry in South Africa is affected by.
The cost of fixing damage done to all types of vehicles needs to be a consideration when planning what routes, the drivers will take. this can be especially costly if you need to regularly have your fleet repaired.
The last cost of this is the time off road. Every day that a portion of your fleet of trucks cannot reliably deliver goods is money lost.
A few of these concerns are detailed in a news24 article which focuses on food transport, where it is explained that trucks that get stuck on poorly maintained roads often have to be towed out, in addition this can result in the road becoming impassable for other vehicles on that road.
4. The cost of fuel on freight transportation services.
The rising cost of fuel is another concern that heavily affects the logistics industry. You need to consider what cost will be passed onto the consumer and if certain products will even be viable in their respective target market after these transportation costs are considered.
This may be a big consideration for potential clients depending on the current cost of fuel, and how much of that cost their consumers will be able to reasonably tolerate before they simply can’t buy the product in question.
When you consider that the vast majority of South Africa’s goods are transported via trucks due to the crumbling railway infrastructure, the cost of fuel becomes a much larger problem that will inevitably be passed onto consumers.
From a transport industry standpoint this may mean less clients are able to invest in sending their products over long distances, and ultimately less business will flow into the transportation industry.
5. Dangerous drivers.
Finally we need to talk about the high number of motor vehicle accidents on South Africa’s roads – because as we all have seen, people tend to drive recklessly, particularly around the festive seasons as BusinessTech reported in 2022 alone over 1400 lives were lost in the festive season alone.
This is a major problem not only because of the huge loss of life but because just like ordinary South Africans on the road truck drivers are often caught in the middle or directly involved in the cause of these collisions.
Not only is this a serious risk to the lives of the road users and truck drivers themselves, but it’s also a risk factor in respect to potential damage or complete destruction a crash can cause to cargo, and delays to delivery.
While not all these risk factors are an everyday occurrence, these 5 elements represent some of the major factors to consider when planning an effective risk mitigation strategy for truck transportation in South Africa.
Not all these factors can be placed in one’s control at any given time however, it is especially important to keep an eye on the situation on the ground, so that you and your fleet can respond quickly, and effectively to situations that place your fleet and you drivers at risk.
1. What are the challenges of freight in South Africa?
The main challenges to freight transportation in South Africa are Power outages causing traffic congestion, Poor road Infrastructure, Rising fuel costs, and Road safety concerns.
2. What are the problems with transportation in South Africa
The main problems with transportation in South Africa in 2023 are Rolling blackouts which cause and compound congestion, Road infrastructure deficiencies, High transportation costs caused by the rising cost of fuel, High rates of vehicle theft or hijacking.
3. How can transportation risk be reduced?
By implementing better driver education programs, we can equip drivers with the skills necessary to actively make safer driving decisions while on the road.
Technology can be used to track driver behaviour, speed, and route. This data can be used to identify improvements in both safe driving behavior’s and identify less risky routes to use.
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