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Market access and logistics solutions group Imperial acquires 24% stake in Africa-focused online portal FIGJAM

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Imperial, the African-focused integrated market access and logistics solutions group, has taken a 24 percent stake from November 1 in FIGJAM, a sales force automation solution provider in Africa.

FIGJAM was founded in 2013 to create an online portal through which businesses can actively manage field operations by focusing on and building technology to more easily reach the geographically fragmented markets in Africa.

“Our investment in FIGJAM is in line with Imperial’s mobile commerce digital initiative and will provide our Market Access business, which has a footprint in over 20 African countries, with a critical salesforce automation and van sales enablement solution,” Imperial’s Market Access CEO Johan Truter said.

FIGJAM has deployed its software to numerous clients across ten African countries with thousands of users. Clients include some of the leading distribution companies in sub-Saharan Africa.

“FIGJAM’s solution is fit-for-purpose and meets the requirements of sales and distribution companies in Africa. We are fast becoming a regional leader in our field and currently facilitate the processing of sales worth millions of dollars every month,” said Truter.

The technology market in Africa is thriving, and with the continent consistently recognised as one of the fastest growing consumer markets in the world.

FIGJAM co-founder David Boaler said they “are excited to merge our technical expertise with Imperial’s continent-wide footprint”.

Truter said the technology met the technical, functional and scalability requirements to form part of the digital toolset available at Imperial, to provide visibility and integrate with the point of sales, as well as establish partnerships, to expand their ecosystem.

He said the partnership was in line with Imperial’s “Gateway to Africa” strategy, and it would provide clients and principals of the Market Access business with the opportunity to increase their reach into markets on the continent.

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Precision delivery key to Unitrans Africa’s mining-sector success

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Unitrans Africa’s (UA) proven mining-sector material handling capability is laying the foundation for a bright future characterised by unique innovation in critical areas of the company’s operations.

Electric vehicles and real-time stockpile management and reporting are but two examples of Unitrans Africa’s bold, long-term vision. But none of these ideas would have even made it to the drawing board had it not been for the company’s trusted reputation when it comes to on-mine material handling and mine-to-port capabilities – painstakingly built across the continent over many decades.

“Unitrans Africa is truly demonstrating our purpose of Accelerating Africa’s Growth with the current mining projects and partnerships we currently have in place,” says Unitrans CEO, Rob Hayworth, who believes that the company now has the springboard to recreate, throughout Africa, the success of current operations, which are accredited according to the highest available safety standards, including the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), Occupational Health, Safety and Security (OHSAS), Safety and Quality Assessment System (SQAS) and Road Transport Management System (RTMS).

“Our solutions have a positive impact on the regions we operate in and with the partners we are involved with, especially when it comes to utilising local labour and reducing the total project emissions via the use of road trains,” he adds.

Road trains have the unique ability to each handle up to 140 tons of payload, while at the same time increasing safety standards and decreasing environmental impact. The latter is achieved through reduced emissions on a net project basis due to a reduction in the required fleet size.

It’s for these reasons that road trains occupy pole position in Unitrans Africa’s bold take on the future – one that is possible thanks to the company’s proven end-to-end capabilities. “Our ‘mine-to-port’ capability is a major strength and this is where our immediate focus has been” says Hayworth. “We’ve been able to set a stake in the ground and are now looking to build on these strengths, as the largest operator of road trains in Africa.”

“We are in the final stages of research into a number of innovative offerings including electric mining vehicles, which will be revealed soon,” he adds.

Unitrans Africa’s extensive footprint in sub-Saharan Africa includes countries such as Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho, Tanzania and Madagascar. This presence already makes the company one of the largest material handling, distribution and logistics operations on the continent, which Hayworth ascribes to an unwavering focus on precision delivery.

“Our exacting standards, high quality, performance track records and continuous improvement all translate into a gold standard when it comes to service delivery,” he says. “When it comes to mining, this is reflected in Unitrans’s custom designed vehicles and engineered equipment, handling of dangerous goods, superb delivery, and cost efficiency, amongst other things.”

As an example of this precision delivery accelerating Africa’s growth, Hayworth points to the successful kickstarting of their Botswanan copper operations, which have demonstrated positive economic and environmental effects. Job growth has increased locally, GDP has grown across the SADC region as a whole, and copper has contributed to a reduction in carbon emissions due to its use in electric vehicles.

“We now have proven copper handling capabilities, which we can use as a launchpad into similar operations in the likes of DRC, Zambia and Namibia in the future,” says Hayworth.

A future which, if Unitrans Africa’s track record is anything to go by, looks bright indeed.

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IAG Cargo reports strong Q3 as capacity rebounds across its global network

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Friday 5 November, 2021, Today, IAG Cargo reports strong Q3 revenues of €405 million for the period from July 1 to September 30 2021, as activity accelerates back to 2019 levels, with the business aided by growing capacity and the breadth of its network.

The Q3 2021 revenues represent an increase of 34.4 percent at constant currency versus the same period last year. Overall yield for Q3 was down 2.0 per cent at constant currency versus 2020. Sold tonnes were up 42.6 per cent. The results come on top of IAG Cargo’s half year revenue of €769m, delivering total revenue to date of €1,174 million in 2021; up 28.0 percent on the same time last year.

The quarter’s success has been achieved through a sustained resurgence in the volume of flights offered by IAG Cargo. Overall, IAG Cargo has seen a 24 per cent increase in capacity on the previous quarter and a 62.2 per cent increase compared to Q3 last year. The increased activity reflects growing levels of global trade, as many economies experience recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. New routes during the quarter included Nairobi, Istanbul, Male, Chennai, Vienna, Denver and Phoenix whilst many other lanes saw increased frequencies.

During the quarter, IAG Cargo’s ability to provide a fast, efficient and global service, connecting East to West, has been in high demand. IAG Cargo’s hubs in Heathrow, Madrid and Dublin have been pivotal, with a significant increase in interline activity.  IAG Cargo also increasingly saw conversions from sea freight as shippers turned to air freight to minimise the impact of the well-publicised supply chain disruption. 

Commenting on the quarter, IAG Cargo Managing Director David Shepherd said: “This quarter we have seen momentum build as IAG Cargo, and the global economy, begins to take increasingly confident steps towards a more buoyant future, as recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to gain ground. The team’s resilience and commitment to put our customers first continues, and we are excited to enter into a new and ambitious phase of activity.”  

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New CIPS Southern Africa General Manager focusses on more educational opportunities for all as she takes on new challenges for the procurement and supply profession

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Pretoria, 2 December 2021  – The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) has appointed Dr Sara Bux as General Manager of Southern Africa. This is a critical appointment as the procurement profession continues to grow in the region and more individuals and organisations are seeking training and qualifications in procurement and supply.

Dr Bux, who most recently served as Director —Southern Africa at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants has over 30 years’ experience in the education sector.

Dr Bux possesses a high level of understanding of the regulatory education environment and networks across Southern Africa, with board-level experience. She has a passion for educational transformation, particularly within Southern Africa and support for the procurement and supply profession. Her qualifications include a Master of Arts (MA) in South African Literature, a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Business Management Entrepreneurship.

Group Chief Executive Officer of CIPS, Malcolm Harrison commented, “I am delighted Sara is joining the CIPS team with her background in education, her high level of understanding of the regulatory frameworks and her strong networks in Southern Africa; she will be a real asset.

“Her energy and enthusiasm will build on the ongoing success of CIPS and I’m looking forward to working with her to create more opportunities for members and aspiring professionals to develop their skills and qualifications allowing them to create the resilient supply chains of the future.”Dr Sara Bux said of her appointment: “I am a firm believer in dignity, equality, freedom, diversity and inclusion for all, and I hope to bring these qualities into my role for CIPS.“I have a strong passion for education and especially, access to the right kind of education that will enable individuals to constructively participate in and contribute to the local and global economy and to society as a whole.”

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