Logistics and supply chain group Imperial Logistics has extended its African footprint into northern Zambia with the establishment of a transport depot in Ndola, in the Copperbelt Province. The new Zambian registered business forms part of group company Snyman Transport and will operate as Snyman Transport Zambia.
Dougie Truter, CEO of Imperial Logistics’ Africa division, says the new venture will enhance the group’s ability to provide transport and logistics services to the mining firms operating in the region, while creating employment opportunities for locals.
The new depot represents Imperial Logistics’ first undertaking in the Zambian Copperbelt province, which encompasses the towns of Kitwe, Chingola and Ndola.
“Imperial has always been a significant player in cross border transport between Zambia and the ports of Durban and Walvis Bay but for the first time, we have an opportunity to develop a presence in the local transport business on the Zambian Copperbelt. Opportunities abound in local transport and logistics – transporting cargo within a 500km radius from the various mines, and also within the mine premises,” says Truter.
Job creation is an integral part of the new business and is in line with the Zambian government’s drive to boost employment through mining investment and to empower local companies. The country has a 14% unemployment rate. Snyman Transport Zambia will initially have 15 dedicated vehicles and a full time staff complement of between 25 and 35 people.
In addition to opening up new opportunities, the Zambian business will also enable Imperial to offer its existing customers in the region a better service with improved turnaround times and reduced logistics costs, he says.
“We’ve learnt that it’s important to be closer to your customers in order to build relationships and with this new operation, we’ll be right where our copperbelt customers need us so we can help them build more effective and efficient supply chains.”
According to Truter, existing customers have welcomed the establishment of the new Zambian business and a spin-off of the venture is that it will open up doors to corridors that Imperial hasn’t previously ‘played in’ before – specifically the Dar Es Salaam and Beira corridors.
Africa is certainly on the move.