In 1994, FleetWatch awarded special certificates to two highly prominent people in South Africa. The one was to newly elected President Nelson Mandela and the other to former State President FW De Klerk.
The certificates were headed ‘Friend of the Trucking Industry’ and the citation read: “For showing exceptional statesmanship in creating a climate for South Africa that is conducive to peace and prosperity in which the road transport industry can play its rightful role in uplifting the life of all South Africans”.
While the certificate to President Mandela was presented to a representative as Madiba was overseas, FleetWatch editor Patrick O’Leary personally presented the certificate to FW De Klerk in the Unions Building in Pretoria. Prior to the meeting, we wrote a letter explaining the rationale behind the award and outlined the role of the trucking industry in the economy and in society.
In his office, the former State President said to O’Leary: “I wish I had met you before because I had never really thought of the role trucks play in our society. When I’m now travelling with my grand-children and I see an ice-cream truck, I point out to them the truck that’s taking the ice-cream to the store and tell them that without the truck, we would have no ice-cream.”
That incident came to mind when I heard that Vector Logistics’ long-standing relationship with Pick ‘n Pay has been cemented with a new contract making Vector Logistics responsible for distributing Pick ‘n Pay’s entire basket of frozen products – including ice-cream – across all its store formats nationwide.
Pick ‘n Pay’s decision comes on the back of a seven-year relationship with Vector where the company has impressed with its sophisticated and modern infrastructure, a proven track record of great customer service and cutting-edge innovation.
“It made sense for Vector to take on the extended role, having demonstrated its capability and already having managed most of Pick ‘n Pay’s frozen consolidation. The agreement also now includes the ice-cream category and this was a natural extension of our capabilities,” says Chris Creed, MD of Vector.
“Part of the intellectual property we developed around ice-cream distribution required us to rethink our warehouse flow to maintain a constant minus 25-degree temperature which is backed by our truck design IP which prevents temperature deviations in transit. Our infrastructure proved itself more than capable to meet Pick ‘n Pay’s requirements for both general frozen goods and the highly sensitive ice-cream category,” says Chris.
He comments that the contract is a significant landmark in the general market’s move towards a more consolidated, customer-led model. “By jointly finding the best way to service Pick ‘n Pay stores, we can improve service levels at the front end, while delivering a more cost-effective world class supply chain for Pick ‘n Pay.”
“The two companies will work together closely to continue improving our frozen supply chain to the benefit of our customers,” says Stefan von Arx, Supply Chain Manager of Pick ‘n Pay.
So next time you’re driving with your grandkids and you see one of Vector Logistics’ over 370 vehicles on the road, follow it to Pick ‘n Pay – and buy the kids an ice-cream. That’s what FW De Klerk did for his grandkids.
And it’s a big congratulations to Vector Logistics on securing this contract.