Border delays push up LTL demand

By Liesl Venter, Freight News

Dedicated small vehicle demand for LTL shipments has recorded significant growth, according to Sean Menzies, ocean freight branch manager for neutral consolidator, CFR Freight. “This has been largely driven by the delays experienced at the various border crossings,” he told Freight News. “Although this choice may come at a cost, the shorter transit time is always a mitigating factor for urgent cargo.” Border delays have, traditionally, been one of the biggest challenges facing road transporters across southern Africa. The outbreak of Covid-19 has only worsened the situation. “The additional Covid testing protocols, where uniformity and clarity were not always forthcoming, certainly exacerbated the situation. The importance of ensuring a proactive approach to documentation f low is extremely critical to reducing standing time.” According to Menzies, cost is another factor to contend with when it comes to road transport. Whilst some cargo owners are willing to pay more for shorter transit times, cost considerations remain top of mind in the current global economic environment. “In this regard, by combining our WorldWide Alliance agency network and our local road freight operational capabilities, we can offer South African forwarders an LCL/LTL cross-trade product into the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Eswatini (BLNE) areas. By combining our local and transhipment volumes, it enables us to leverage off good pricing levels.” Menzies said South Africa remained a prominent procurement hub for the SADC region, and as such, the provisioning of a reliable cross-trade product was key to ensuring the smooth f low of cargo from origin to final destination. This offered an opportunity for the logistics industry to increase volumes in the region .“The increased use of technology and platforms providing end-to-end visibility will start becoming the industry norm in the future and assist in growing trade.”

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