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Road Freight Industry Dealing With A Perfect Storm

23 July 2020 – As the freight forwarding industry continues to battle the fall-out of Covid-19, the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (Saaff) has provided numbers that reveal the extent of the damage.

The organisation estimates that local importers are facing roughly R1.4 billion in storage and demurrage costs accumulated during level-5 lockdown, with more than 20 000 containers piling up in storage facilities.

 “Road freight in this country is on its knees,” says Marcus Ellappan, director of road freight for Bidvest International Logistics (BIL). “There’s a regional imbalance of freight due to the decline in the economy, which means hauliers are battling to generate revenue, let alone operate profitably, especially on return loads. The protests by truck drivers against the hiring of foreign nationals are impacting utilisation of assets, which also impacts negatively on profitability. Some hauliers are now downsizing fleets as trucks stand idle, and with that jobs are being lost.”

The costs of complying with Covid-19 protocols is another burden the industry faces.

 This comes on top of an increasing number of personal protective equipment (PPE) road transport consignments being hijacked or becoming a hot commodity for thieves at airports.

Various studies – including a report by the Harvard Business Review (HBR) – have highlighted the importance of agility and innovation as a means of adapting.

It’s clearly those operators who follow this advice who will survive beyond a pandemic whose impact will be felt for many years to come. Source (Freight News)