Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  13 Nov 2014

LOGISTICS: Bridging the South Africa - Namibia Trade Gap


Recent Gauteng Business News

For two countries with such strong trade links, high prices and lack of reliable scheduling have long been a stumbling block for those moving goods in either direction across the South Africa - Namibia border.

Recently, however, the South African transport and logistics company Crossroads has stepped into the breach with its comprehensive Scheduled Freight Distribution offering - an offering that looks likely to completely transform trade along this route.

In essence, Crossroads’ Scheduled Freight Distribution (SFD) is a fleet of 35ton trucks that will travel from Johannesburg to Windhoek three times a week - on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays - and more often as demand increases. Until now, businesses moving goods between South Africa and Namibia have had to deal with either the relatively high costs involved in sending smaller vehicles between the two countries' major centres, or the unreliable scheduling that comes with making use of larger vehicles that must wait to be filled before leaving. In a single stroke, Crossroads’ SFD will remove both these obstacles by offering a service that encompasses both regular scheduling and the lower costs that come with consolidated shipping.

Furthermore the SFD is attached to Crossroads comprehensive national delivery systems that are entrenched in both South Africa and Namibia. This allows for the de-consolidation of loads upon arrival - for either collection or last-mile delivery - creating the potential for door-to-door delivery for businesses based anywhere in either country. As per these standard offerings, Crossroads also handle customs clearing requirements of all parcels, manage POD requirements and provide online tracking to their clients.

South Africa accounts for just over 70% of Namibia's imports while Namibia exports 14.4% of their output to South Africa. In light of the importance of this trade route, and having put extensive resources into researching the needs of their customers, Crossroads discovered that a large number of traders making up the cross-border trade were finding themselves between the proverbial rock and hard place of unreliable scheduling and high costs. The SFD will allow traders to benefit from both the lower expense afforded by consolidated loads as well and the reliability of scheduled departures.

Crossroads’ new Scheduled Freight Distribution service is expected be a major boost for trade in the area. Along with bringing much needed improvement to a vibrant trade corridor, the solution brings with it the high levels of reactivity that are crucial in market conditions that demand the shortest possible lead times and flexible distribution models at lower cost.

To emphasise its national significance, the solution also comes on the back of a recently announced presidential imperative to push for increased development of cross-border infrastructure between Namibia and South Africa. As quoted in Engineering News, the South African President stated that “We need to prioritise cross-border infrastructure to facilitate the easy flow of goods and services in order to further enhance the close economic cooperation between our two countries.”


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