Additional consol service supports growing demand

by Liesl Venter – Freight News August 2022

Increased demand for consolidation services into Zambia’s mining areas has led SACO CFR to increase its services to the country.

According to Natasha Lawrence, ocean and road freight branch manager in Johannesburg, volumes have steadily been increasing, along with demand for cargo to the mines just outside of Lusaka and the Copperbelt.

“We have strengthened our team capacity to support our guaranteed weekly consolidation service to Zambia,” she told Freight News. “This service loads every Friday, but due to the heightened demand, we have also introduced a mid-week service for any urgent cargo that may need to move before a Friday loading.” Lawrence says there are huge opportunities in the transportation of mining equipment at present. “In addition to that, there is also a lot of construction taking place in the country. Several hotels are being revamped while there are other projects taking place from an infrastructure perspective. All of this has seen an increase in South African construction houses setting up shop in Zambia and has driven demand for more cargo.”

She said volumes were on the rise but were not yet where the company would like them to be. “We believe there is still room for improvement and for volumes to increase. With more investment in the ever-growing infrastructure and the mining opportunities, the volumes are expected to remain on an upward trajectory going forward.”

While upbeat about the outlook for Zambia and the opportunity to increase exports to the country, Lawrence admits it is not without challenges.“There have been some disruptions due to the recent strikes by the South African Revenue Service (Sars) that impacted our transit times to Zambia, but for the most part services to Zambia are fluid without too many hiccups.”

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