Ezethu Logistics, the empowerment partner of JSE-listed Cargo Carriers, has been awarded the contract to transport cement from AfriSam’s Ulco operation near Kimberley to the company’s readymix facilities in the Western Cape.
Ezethu Logistics has dedicated eight powder tankers to the contract, which will deliver bulk cement to plants in Bellville, Peninsula, Cape Town city and Philippi.
Andre Jansen van Vuuren, divisional director of marketing for Cargo Carriers, believes three factors gave Ezethu Logistics the edge: a reputation for reliable, cost-effective supply chain logistics in fuels, chemicals and powders, certified compliance with the best Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ) standards, and a B-BBEE compliance rating of Level 2.
As part of its commitment to furthering the national economic transformation objectives, which is in line with government targets, the B-BBEE scores of service providers to AfriSam are an important factor in the awarding of contracts. Ezethu’s Level 2 rating allows AfriSam to claim more than 100% compliance in terms of its procurement charter. This rating played a significant role in the company securing the contract.
Since 2003, Cargo Carriers and Ezethu Logistics have pioneered the concept of owner-drivers, providing training and support to allow drivers to become stakeholders in the industry.
Six of the eight units servicing the contract are driver-owned, with two provided by Ezethu Logistics. Each vehicle will cover 21 500km per month, bringing down the ratio of units to volume hauled.
Using computerized logistics and vehicle tracking to adhere to a strict shift changeover timetable, they allow reduced delivery costs without compromising reliability or driver safety.
“We’re really sweating the assets,’ says Jansen van Vuuren. “We stay strictly within industry standards for driving times and shift times, but our logistics give us the edge in turnaround times and load monitoring.’
With any haulage of potentially hazardous materials, safety is paramount. Ezethu’s growth in the fuels, chemicals and powders sector is testimony to the company’s attention to SHEQ standards, as demonstrated by its ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and ISO 9001 certification.
“In this day and age, business simply can’t afford not to commit to reducing carbon footprints and improving health, quality and safety standards,’ says Jansen van Vuuren. “Apart from compliance with the relevant transport and safety acts, we are upgrading our fleet with reduced-emissions vehicles, we are active in health and safety monitoring committees, and we ensure our drivers have access to first-class medical treatment in the event of stress, fatigue or loss of concentration.’
The company also maintains contracts with disaster-response firms, so that in the event of an accidental spill, containment and clean-up operations can begin without delay.