In past issues of FleetWatch, our technical correspondent Dave Scott has written pretty complimentary articles on the world-class innovations applied by Crusade Logistics – a fuel haulier launched in 2015 – in its operations. Now we hear of yet another innovation implemented by the company that really serves to impress.
It revolves around route planning using not the traditional methods but rather via the use of an in-cab camera combined with a drone to give their drivers exact details on the routes they will be traveling for deliveries right up to where they need to park at a service station to drop fuel.
“We mark out the routes with drones to give drivers visual cues and familiar landmarks on an electronic journey plan,” says co-owner of Crusade Logistics, Wesley Naidoo.
Not only does it guide the driver but also serves to monitor driver safety while also providing customers with regular updates on the estimated arrival time which means that when the rig arrives at a site, there is no time wasted as they are ready to receive the fuel. (See below a video example of a route).
And it is working well with a marked improvement in driver safety having been seen. It has also served to reduce the risk of trucks getting lost with a full load of fuel on board.
More good news for this 51% Black-owned and 30% Black female-owned company which currently bridges fuel for Chevron South Africa and the Caltex Brand in Kwa-Zulu Natal, is that it recently secured Enterprise and Supplier Development (E&SD) funding from Chevron South Africa to expand its business.
Chevron South Africa’s E&SD programme is not only aimed at growing its base of capable and reliable partners but also improving opportunities for Black-owned entrants to drive transformation through its value chain.
“Start-up firms are held to the same exacting standards as more established suppliers and while there can be significant barriers to entry for new entrants, we are keen to enable their success by providing them with business opportunities within our fuel supply chain,” says Chevron South Africa’s Fleet Operations Manager, Noma Dumse.
“Chevron South Africa supports innovative and affordable funding mechanisms for the participation of black entrepreneurs in the fuel supply chain. E&SD funding is one of the best methods to allow for the development of black-owned small and medium enterprises and their increased participation in the mainstream economy,” she says.
Although not a new entrant having been around since 2015, Naidoo says that the interest free E&SD funding and the fuel bridging contract with Chevron South Africa has boosted the company’s cash flow and improved access to additional credit, allowing them to expand the fleet.
“For us, one of the biggest benefits has been receiving mentorship from Chevron South Africa and integrating their best practice standards and culture into our business. We have been so inspired by how this programme has assisted us that we are now helping other small black-owned businesses. In our own way, we are paying it forward,” says Naidoo.
Chevron South Africa has identified a number of black-owned haulers which it is in the process of enrolling into its E&SD programme and bringing on stream. Other participants in the company’s E&SD programme include black-owned small and medium enterprises as diverse as advertising agency, Avatar; operational equipment cleaning business, Galion Laundry, and Caltex service station owners who have successfully grown their businesses as a result of the funding received.