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Using decelerated globalisation in favour of your supply chain sourcing strategy



Truck on the road near wind farm

How SA’s motoring industry is using it to their advantage – Bidvest International Logistics gives the inside take.  

JOHANNESBURG, 20 July 2022 –  The war in Ukraine and its impact on the world economy has once again exposed the risks inherent in globalisation.

The conflict has further disrupted global supply chains already strained by the Covid-19 pandemic, and according to Simon Geale, executive vice-president at supply chain consulting firm Proxima, the deceleration of globalisation is now a certainty.

Given all that’s transpired internationally in the past two years, businesses are now near-shoring their operations in an attempt to negate issues of cargo congestion and suspension of goods and services provision globally.

The shift to new strategies emphasising local sourcing has become critical.

In June, Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) reported that the continued spread of Covid-19’s Omicron variant, the ongoing effects of the war in Ukraine as well as other constraints had pushed cargo volumes in South Africa to their second lowest level in the past 12 months, despite freight rates remaining astronomically high.   

Shoring up local supply networks is vital if South Africa is to keep its head above water amid speculation that another recession is imminent.

Businesses would do well to follow the example of South Africa’s automotive sector, says Bidvest International Logistics’ Supply Chain Solutions Manager, Willem Bekker.  

“South African automotive manufacturers have been implementing local sourcing strategies for years – well before the war in Ukraine or even the pandemic.

“This has been driven by the automotive industry incentive programmes put in place by the Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition (DTIC), specifically the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP), called APDP 2 in its current form.

“In order to qualify for the significant incentives offered by this programme, the locally-based automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have had to implement increasingly high targets for sourcing locally produced content for manufacturing. This means that when it comes to local sourcing, our motor industry is in a far better position than other countries.”

The APDP is reviewed every few years. Its major impact, with its strong focus on localisation, is that it starts to create an entire value stream of locally manufactured goods and services linked to the automotive industry.

Newer versions of the policy stress activities outside of the direct manufacturing operations, such as second and third tier component suppliers, service provision, distribution and logistics systems and infrastructure.

Bekker also points out that because South Africa is  geographically isolated from major economic hubs, the cost of moving goods to the country from Europe or the US is far higher than moving goods within the US or Europe.

“This means that localisation has a significant logistics cost benefit, while also allowing far more flexibility in the supply chain through not being dependent on long global shipping lead times.”

Port and border congestion, which remains a threat to supply chains, further strengthens the case for localisation.  The BUSA report indicated that massive delays persisted on the busiest trade lanes, with an average of 17,5 days’ worth of delays on a full rotation between North-West Europe and the Far East.

According to Bekker, it is essential that clients are provided visibility into their supply chains through visualisation and tracking tools.

A May 2022 white paper by the World Economic Forum indicates there is growing demand for cross-border regional integration in southern Africa, with South Africa’s ports and borders playing a significant role.

South Africa has been proactive in this regard, introducing electronic supporting documents, a mobile application tool that allows inspection results to be captured, and a web-based platform for end-to-end processing of customs clearances.

The effect has been a reduction in the time needed for physical inspections from eight hours to two on average, a simplification of real-time customs declarations to as little as seven seconds, and halving the number of days to import goods.

Cargo scanners and electronic cargo tracking systems have also now made it possible to monitor goods in transit in real time.

The shifts occurring are all about building resilience, Bekker says. The traditional Just-in-Time model has become one that emphasises Just-in-Case as supply chains are redefined.

“You have to consider first-tier suppliers exposure to the risks you are trying to avoid. This works best by strong collaboration throughout the supply chain, building long term relationships and partnerships with key suppliers, and jointly understanding the macro-level benefits of realising a successful localisation strategy.”

Bekker says the localisation focus is likely to carry on as long as South Africa continues to assist in the development of a globally competitive motor industry.

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Press Releases

Work hard and play harder at Mega-T 2023



Mega-T expo 2023 banner

It’s back! It’s bigger and it’s even better! Mega-T, the new outdoor trucking, trailer, and transport expo, will be hosted for the second time on 5, 6 and 7 October 2023 at the Diamantvallei Landgoed showgrounds, 20km east of Pretoria. After a successful first edition in 2022, this event, powered by The Road Freight Association (RFA), is firmly positioned as a powerful Business to Business Expo.

Mega-T Expo is the perfect combination of business and pleasure,” explains HP Steyn, the event organiser.

Mega-T Expo is the perfect combination of business and pleasure,” explains HP Steyn, the event organiser.

“It serves as a hub for the trucking industry to network, showcase cutting-edge technology, connect with suppliers, and exchange business ideas. Established businesses can exhibit their products and services, reaching their target market.”

“The show covers a wide range of categories including trucks and trailers, tracking and security, parts and maintenance, financing and insurance, navigation and fleet management, and refueling systems.”

Gavin Kelly standing
Gavin Kelly

Gavin Kelly, CEO of The Road Freight Association (RFA), adds that the feedback received from participants in the 2022 show was overwhelmingly positive. “Some exhibitors signed deals during the two-day event, whilst others networked tirelessly and started building/growing relationships with potential customers and learning about the latest innovations in trailers, trucking and transport,” he says.

“We had quality visitors and quality time for many businesses seeking new contacts or reviving old ones.” As a result of feedback received, the show has been extended by one day to include a Saturday, enabling families to come and experience the thrills and spills of Mega-T!
“All in all, most people I personally interacted with said that they had benefitted from being at Mega-T.

There were a number of exhibitors who wish to increase the size and style of their stands for the Expo this year or move into the upper sections of the Expo closer to the entertainment area and market the Expo amongst their circle of businesses and friends”.

Several prominent brands in the industry have already secured their space for the 2023 event. This includes petroleum wholesaler Mammut Petroleum, Indian multinational tyre company Apollo Tyres and German braking systems manufacturer Knorr-Bremse AG.

Career planning: an exciting addition to the show line-up

Building upon the achievements of the previous edition, Mega-T 2023 will introduce an exciting new focus on career planning. Recognising the importance of nurturing future talent and promoting the transport industry as a viable career path, the expo will incorporate educational elements to enlighten students about the vast career opportunities available in this dynamic field. By inspiring and educating young minds, Mega-T aims to contribute to the growth and development of the industry while fostering a pipeline of skilled professionals.

Benefits of B-2-B Expos

The lengthy hiatus of expos due to the Covid-19 lockdown has served to emphasise the importance of trade exhibitions. The Mega-T Expo provides a targeted platform for industry-related companies to increase brand success through engagement and meaningful interactions. Face-to-face interactions with prospects and professionals are far more successful than other methods such as phone calls or emails.

What makes Mega-T different is its combination of business and pleasure: It is a fun-filled experience for the whole family – with activities for both kids and adults, a beer garden, tyre-flipping, and the Big Rig. Combined with great food and fantastic music, this makes Mega-T a “must attend”!

Win with Mega-T

A set of passenger vehicle tyres is up for grabs, courtesy of Apollo Tyres. To stand a chance of winning these, participants will be required to share a link that promotes the event. The winner will be announced on the Saturday of Mega-T.

With a strong track record, notable sponsors, and a fresh focus on career planning, Mega-T 2023 is shaping up to be an extraordinary event that combines networking, innovation, business opportunities, and educational initiatives.

For more information on the show, visit Mega-T

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Press Releases

JC Auditors offering free online safety performance assessment for transport operators



Oliver Traffic Officers

In a commendable move to promote road safety, leading certification body JC Auditors has announced that it will provide transport operators with free access to an online safety performance assessment tool. This initiative aims to assist fleet operators, especially smaller fleets, which often lack the resources to evaluate their overall safety performance. This online assessment would also enable an operator to identify its performance in relation to the Road Transport Management System (RTMS) National Standard.

The RTMS is a comprehensive framework designed to improve safety, efficiency, and compliance within the transport industry. It consists of several key pillars, including load management, driver wellness, vehicle maintenance, journey management, and driving behaviour.

By making this online safety performance assessment tool accessible, JC Auditors aims to enable transport operators identify and mitigate risks, which will not only help the individual business but also contribute improving South Africa’s road safety record. The assessment tool comprises a series of carefully crafted questions focusing on the key pillars of RTMS. Operators can complete the online evaluation, the results of which will be available in a report detailing key risks and recommended improvement actions.

This valuable feedback empowers operators to identify potential risks and take pro-active measures to enhance safety standards within their operations.

Oliver Naidoo, Managing Director of JC Auditors, highlights the importance of this initiative, saying: “It is vitally important that transport operators – regardless of their fleet size – have access to resources that can help them enhance their safety performance. By providing this online assessment tool for free, we aim to support South African fleets in adopting RTMS and holistically improving road safety and operational performance.”

JC Auditors, who have been actively advocating for safe transport operations in the country, took the lead in discussing safe and sustainable road transport during the May Transport Forum they hosted.

Naidoo highlights four crucial outcomes from the event, shedding light on pressing industry issues. “First and foremost,” he asserts, “we need to build capacity in SMEs to embrace safety systems as an integral part of business.” The old adage that the strongest chain is only as strong as the weakest link rings true.

Serious truck accidents often cause closure of national roads for hours on end – impacting other transporters (many of whom are professional, safety focused entities), as well as public road users. Such accidents have a negative social impact (fatalities and injuries) and also severely affects the overall cost of transport, contributing to inefficient supply chains which ultimately affects the economy. So, it is in the national interest that we should aim to gradually increase the number of safety-conscious, professional transporter on our roads.

Additionally, Naidoo emphasises the growing need to promote initiatives aimed at changing driving culture within the industry. Furthermore, it was observed that the transport sector often does not fully optimise telematics capabilities, despite its ability to identify high-risk behaviour- a matter that requires urgent attention. Lastly, he notes the importance of fostering increased stakeholder collaboration in collective efforts to improve fleet safety performance, which emerged as the fourth key takeaway.

Speaking at the online event, Dr Paul Nordengen, RTMS National Steering Committee chairperson, highlighted the significant advantages witnessed in the heavy vehicle transport sector through the adoption of the RTMS in South Africa. Dr Nordengen also reported on the significant productivity and safety gains observed in the Performance Based Standards (PBS) pilot project.

Dr Nordengen stated: “Companies that have implemented PBS are experiencing a wide range of benefits – including improved road safety, reduced environmental impact, and cost savings.”

Annah Ngxeketo, the founder of SMME operator Mamoja Trading & Projects, shared her company’s transformative journey in transporting mining products during the event. She noted that, since achieving RTMS compliance, Mamoja has witnessed tangible advantages in their business operations. Challenges such as prolonged downtime, missed vehicle servicing, and driver incidents, have been effectively addressed through RTMS implementation. The company has implemented a comprehensive maintenance schedule plan that undergoes continuous monitoring. Additionally, they conduct route risk assessments, enforce a speeding policy, and ensure drivers are managed in a professional and progressive manner.

“The adoption and implementation of RTMS as well as other international standards play a pivotal role in enhancing road safety in South Africa and ensuring the efficient transportation of cargo throughout the country,” concludes Naidoo.

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Press Releases

Statement from The Road Freight Association



police at road stop

The future of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) – from a Constitutional point of view – awaits the consideration and judgement from the Constitutional Court, where the matter was heard in November 2022. The Court reserved judgement, and there are indications that the judgement should be handed down before the end of May 2023.

Whilst this is awaited, the Road Traffic Infringement Authority (RTIA) has been at pains to make it clear that it will continue with the preparatory tasks required for a national roll-out – looking at full implementation across the country within three years of the initial roll-out phases.

The Road Freight Association (RFA) has interacted with both the Department of Transport (DoT) and the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) since the first publication of the draft AARTO Act and the resulting regulations, dating back to 1997. We have placed on record that, despite well- substantiated motivation for serious adjustment to both the manner of implementation of a demerit system, as well as the ability for law-abiding citizens to access and manage their proposed demerit points, the Department has not amended the regulations in any way to ensure that the compliance costs do not become a serious burden on law-abiding citizens – whether fleet operators or individuals.

In addition: the RFA has noted that the issuing of points to vehicles is unfounded; will have a serious impact on the vehicle supply sector (both new and used); the sustainability of fleets and individuals with regard to personal transport needs (there is no reliable, efficient, safe and affordable public transport system available in the country); and, not have the effective and sustainable behavioural change required to improve road traffic legislative compliance.

The article is factually incorrect: the source of the article is unknown to the RFA and this may be bad reporting, incorrect interpretation or – indeed – incorrect statement of the facts.
Drivers will commence with ZERO points (not 15 as stated in the article) and will “earn” demerit points as and when applicable through the AARTO process, where demerit points are allocated. Currently the threshold is a maximum of 12 points (the proposed amendment recommends 15 points) whereupon – from point 13 – the various sanctions of suspension or cancellation of a driving license will occur, as defined in the AARTO legislation.

There are numerous challenges: the scourge of corruption and poor traffic policing have not been addressed nor resolved, neither has the process to ensure that manipulation of the system through targeting of certain fleet operators (or individuals) can be prevented.
In addition, the proposed Tribunal System has a number of flaws that leave prospective procedural queries hanging, and the whole rehabilitation programme has more queries than answers, there are numerous charges relating to taxis that carry no demerit points and the addition of extra levies to cover administration processes point to revenue generation.

The process of addressing the comments received from the last round of public comment has not been completed – a final proposal relating to the proposed regulations was not completed before the current impasse was created through the legal process (which now awaits the decision from the Constitutional Court).

The RFA trusts that, once the Constitutional Court has handed down its judgement (either way), that the Department of Transport and the RTIA will carefully consider and apply the comments from all parties that submitted comment and take special note of the comments from the Association which cover the impact this legislation will have on fleet operators.
In its last iteration/form, the RFA is of the opinion that AARTO will not be implementable without the comments and proposals it tabled in 2019.

The Association is aware that the RTIA has taken many of these into consideration, and that another draft of the proposed regulations is ready for public circulation – pending the judgement from the Constitutional Court.

It is crucial that a sustainable, fair, reliable and manageable system is introduced to change and improve road user behaviour, and that this does not become a huge financial millstone around the necks of compliant fleets (or individuals).

By Gavin Kelly – CEO: The Road Freight Association.

Gavin Kelly, RFA CEO

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