Home Fleetwatch 2022 New multimodal association aims to transform logistics in Southern Africa

New multimodal association aims to transform logistics in Southern Africa

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Awaiting activation - the new inland port on the N3 outside Springs, Gauteng will help shift the transportation of cargo from road to rail.
Awaiting activation - the new inland port on the N3 outside Springs, Gauteng will help shift the transportation of cargo from road to rail.

The burdens of moving the majority of freight across Southern Africa by truck as a result of the failures of freight-by-rail operations have taken their toll on the region’s road network and its global economic competitiveness. The urgent need to transform Southern Africa’s supply chain via intermodal harmonisation has never been more pressing. Thankfully, industry stalwarts are joining forces to enhance logistics performance, reduce costs and boost overall supply chain efficiencies.

A new industry body, the Multimodal Inland Port Association (MIPA), will début at the upcoming Transport Forum event on May 23rd, from 09h00 to 12h15. This milestone occasion will bring together industry stakeholders, policymakers, and enthusiasts for an online gathering focused on advancing cargo movement from road to rail via inland ports.

Warwick Lord, MIPA’s chairperson: “MIPA has a vision for a more sustainable and efficient logistics system.”
Warwick Lord, MIPA’s chairperson: “MIPA has a vision for a more sustainable and efficient logistics system.”

Introducing privately-operated freight hubs

Formed by leading entities in the transportation sector, including the Cato Ridge Inland Port, Tambo Springs Development Company, Cape Winelands Inland Port, the Musina Intermodal Terminal, RailRunner South Africa, and RailRunner Services, the association is dedicated to improving Southern Africa’s supply chain. Through promotion, support, and advocacy, MIPA aims to optimise efficiency and cost-effectiveness by increasing cargo transportation via rail through the use of more inland ports.

“We’re excited to introduce MIPA and its vision for a more sustainable and efficient logistics system,” says Warwick Lord, MIPA Chairman. Lord will start the Forum with an introductory roadshow of MIPA, presenting the association’s vision to implement practical intermodal solutions for the region. These solutions address the challenges encountered at ports and along transportation corridors, paving the way for enhanced efficiency and effectiveness in cargo logistics.

CEO of the SA Association of Freight Forwarders, Dr Juanita Maree: “Backup port operations and freight villages underpin the MIPA strategy.”
CEO of the SA Association of Freight Forwarders, Dr Juanita Maree: “Backup port operations and freight villages underpin the MIPA strategy.”

According to Lord, MIPA’s strategy revolves around promoting efficient multimodalism. This entails establishing a network of privately-operated freight hubs with rail terminals across the region to provide a more efficient and cost-effective logistics service, optimising cargo transportation and bolstering regional connectivity.

New era of logistics collaboration and integration

MIPA’s objectives are anchored in five core pillars: reducing logistics costs, enhancing capabilities, refining supply chain management, expanding reach and bolstering compliance with policies and regulations.

Joining the launch event as speakers are industry leaders who will share their expertise and insights on the future of South Africa’s logistics network. They include:

Russell Baatjies, chief executive of Transnet Freight Rail (TFR), will deliver a presentation highlighting the pivotal role of rail as the critical connector between landside and seaside logistics systems, shedding light on its significance in the transportation ecosystem.

Gavin Kelly, CEO of the Road Freight Association: “Multimodal logistics efficiency is based on symbiotic relationships between transport modes.”
Gavin Kelly, CEO of the Road Freight Association: “Multimodal logistics efficiency is based on symbiotic relationships between transport modes.”

Dr Juanita Maree, chief executive officer of the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF), will delve into the concept of an ideal South African logistics network, emphasising the importance of backup port operations and freight villages within a multimodal structure.

The topic of “South Africa’s inland port imperative: A critical and missing component” will be addressed by Prof Jan Havenga – Emeritus Professor at Stellenbosch University/Director at GAIN.

Gavin Kelly, CEO of the Road Freight Association, will discuss the symbiotic relationships between various transport modes and their contribution to economic success, offering valuable insights into the interconnected nature of transportation networks. 

Dr Ria Vosloo, a lead consultant at OTT Technologies, will explore the role of multimodal terminals in connecting highways and byways of the sea, providing a comprehensive understanding of their significance in facilitating efficient cargo movement.

“We look forward to the opportunity to engage with industry to share our vision for MIPA and invite stakeholders to register for the virtual event,” concludes Lord. To register for the Transport Forum please visit www.transportsig.com,

FleetWatch applauds the efforts of the committed individuals and industry bodies who are working together to get MIPA up and riding for the betterment of all the people of Southern Africa. Viva MIPA!

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