Agri Value Chain Virtual Discussion Series – Logistics

  • 29 May 2020
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  •  news

The session is once again anchored by Dr John Purchase and panellists include; Andrew Waller, Grindrod CEO; Gavin Kelly, Road Freight Association CEO; Christo Booyens, TradeVantage Managing Director; Earle Peters, Transnet Corporate Executive Manager: Iron ore; and Phillippus Oosthuizen, Continual Managing Director.

Andrew Waller kicks off the discussion by opining on the cost of logistics and how the shipping element of logistics forms a very large part of logistics industry. He talks about competition in the sector and how South Africa needs to compare to other countries in order to get the customers. “The world is competing for customers and South Africa needs to measure up or we won’t be used.”

Phillippus Oosthuizen joins in on the point of evolution of logistics from the traditional rail transportation to the more diverse road transportation. He also touches on the challenges faced by the logistics sector, especially in terms of the cost of operations. He suggests that the South African logistics industry should look into ways to optimize their operations and save costs.

John Purchase poses questions to the panel on the risks involved in the logistics industry especially pertaining to the move from rail to road transport. Gavin Kelly highlights the different risks in the road space. He talks about the security of high value goods on the road and tells viewers that the most hijacked high value cargo on the roads has been food (maize). He also highlights bureaucracy as a hindrance to logistics’ security. Gavin talks about the lack of understanding between the logistics industry and government as a factor that increases industry risks.

Christo Booyens gives perspective on where the gains can be leveraged in the logistics industry. He talks about the difference between road and rail transport costs and why the more expensive option is preferred. He goes into detail about how much more risk is bared when moving cargo via rail as juxtaposed with the costs involved in road transportation. He speaks on Senwes’ involvement in liaising with government to ensure that the roads surrounding Silos are well managed and repaired timeously.

The conversation steers towards ports, how they functions and the challenges that we face in that area. Speaking on the effects of Covid-19 on the logistics sector, Gavin sheds light on the containers that are now stranded at ports due to some industries not being declared essential and them unable to move goods. The panel talks about labour concerns in the ports at the moment and they touch on possible ways to contain this issue. Earle Peters talks in depth about this matter.

Francois Strydom rounds up the conversation by thanking the panel for the enlightening conversation. He talks about how each session of the series opens up the picture so viewers can see how the value chain works and how the industries work in conjunction with each other. He reiterates that each contribution is valuable to making South Africa work.

Visit the virtual discussion series portal:


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