How to Excel in the South African Goods Transportation Sector
Transport systems in South Africa form the backbone of socio-economic activities. In 2020, the South African transport, storage, and communication sector contributed roughly 231,9 billion rands towards the gross domestic product. In 2021, South Africa shipped close to 100 million tons of cargo.
One of the goals of the transport system is to create a fully integrated transport and information system that ensures smooth, efficient, and transparent passenger and cargo logistics in South Africa, regionally and globally.
The International Growth Centre based in London reported that African companies could spend up to twice as much for road transportation costs as their counterparts in Southeast Asia and where landlocked countries experience even higher costs. This is caused by several problems, including potholed roads, paramilitary checkpoints, and additional hours spent at border posts which are inefficiently managed.
South Africa plays a significant role in transporting goods within its own borders and provides a gateway for many other countries south of the equator. This creates a need for freight and logistic companies across South Africa to develop innovative, cost-saving mechanisms to decrease the cost of transporting goods.
One key area to look at would include the reviewal of staffing solutions within the industry, which could increase the efficiency of the business and lead to companies excelling within the sector.
‘“Professionally trained drivers are in high demand as the industry aims to regain the losses suffered under the various lockdown levels and stifled economy.” – Arnoux Maré, Innovative Learning Solutions.
This article explores how staffing solutions can help companies excel in the goods transportation sector. Contact MASA to leverage specialist drivers in your industry if you’re looking for a solution to your transportation and logistics needs.
Staffing Solutions that can help you succeed in the freight industry
Transportation costs are an essential component of overall supply chain costs. Supply chain and logistics managers must harness the potential of transport in terms of cost reduction opportunities. The value of integrations to improve efficiency should only increase as demand for transportation increases and companies pay more attention to improving the overall supply chain.
Freight forwarders need to understand how the state of the logistics industry will affect operations and why high-quality reporting, both internal and external, is essential for proper forecasting and planning. As technology continues to propel the industry forward at an ever-faster pace, more transport companies create their own specialised digital tools to meet their specific needs to excel within the sector.
However, as technology drives the industry forward, one of the critical element remains the person behind the wheel. According to Business Insider, South Africa in 2021 was experiencing a shortfall of about 3000 qualified truck drivers in the country. This shortfall was due to various factors, including several early retirements due to COVID-19 and the lack of access to quality training for new drivers to get licensed. With COVID having a significant negative impact on many industries, the transportation sector has been no different.
South Africa is often plagued with driver protests which sometimes lead to striking and violence. One of the major complaints is local drivers claiming that they are losing work to foreign nationals.
Often companies, who play too close to the edge, look to use foreign nationals as a means or way to bypass the strict regulations in place and pay lower salaries resulting in fewer labour tensions. This has resulted in unhappy South African drivers; the government and private institutions are finding ways to improve the situation and make South African drivers more desirable to hire.
Training and Skills Development
Nearly every sector could be affected if the lack of drivers continued. They transport essential items such as coal, food, fuel and hospital equipment, and national supply chains cannot do without them. Companies looking to grow and excel in the sector should be investing heavily in the training of drivers to reduce the skills gap.
The training of drivers plays a vital role in the efficiency of deliveries. Companies could look at improving their drivers’ training and skills development, which would strengthen the overall talent pool of drivers within the industry. According to Arnoux Maré, training plays a vital role in the development of drivers. However, the focus should be on the technical skills of drivers and soft skills, including improved communications resulting in improved customer interactions.
Recruit Talented Drivers
The logistics market is competitive due to the presence of national and international transport and logistics companies. Recruiting the right drivers becomes a critical component as companies look to hire talented and competent drivers who are reliable, which improves overall productivity and positively influences the bottom line. Finding drivers who have the necessary skillsets to drive in different conditions will bring in the talent required to fill vacant driving positions.
One of the main ways transportation companies can improve the recruitment of truck drivers is through solid compensation packages. In February 2022, South Africa improved the national wages of drivers, and inexperienced drivers are likely to earn R5000.00 per month. In contrast, drivers with more experience are set to make between R10 000.00 and R15 000.00 per month.
Outsourced Logistics Departments
Outsourcing your logistics department, including fleet and drivers, becomes a cost-effective solution. Fortunately, the flexibility also allows fleet owners to gradually outsource and increase the number of outsourced functions as the business and fleet grow. These outsourced services will enable one to use their equipment and driver pool better.
Many companies in the United States have been utilising this methodology to improve their overall operations for a significant period, often looking at taking across talented drivers from South Africa.
Outsourcing the recruitment process could improve overall productivity
At MASA, we exceed customer expectations with flawless recruiting and outsourced HR solutions. Our goal is to become a leading provider of personnel providing the best strategic solutions for our clients in a range of different industries. Our experienced operations team and driver staff allow us the flexibility to serve a diverse client base.
MASA is a leading national and international employment/staffing agency capable of effectively managing the critical elements of your employment/staffing needs ready to facilitate seamless hiring and onboarding of new drivers for your transport and logistics company.
The benefit of outsourcing your HR function is that it can help your strategies and improve your employee compensation plan. Outsourcing HR functions to a trusted vendor like MASA can help business owners understand and comply with these laws and regulations.
If you require professional assistance with hiring, onboarding, and training new employees, be sure to contact MASA. We are experts in the transportation industry allowing your company to leverage the leading staffing employment and labour outsourcing services in SA.
Check out our article on How to Survive and Thrive in South Africa’s Truck Driver Shortage if you would like to learn more about navigating transportation and logistics driving in South Africa.