Home FleetWatch 2021 Safety of cargo in transit is biggest challenge for logistics industry

Safety of cargo in transit is biggest challenge for logistics industry

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Martin Taylor, risk manager at Rhenus Logistics South Africa. “The safety of cargo in transit is one of the biggest challenges for the logistics industry in South Africa.”
Martin Taylor, risk manager at Rhenus Logistics South Africa. “The safety of cargo in transit is one of the biggest challenges for the logistics industry in South Africa.”

The massive increase in truck hijackings has added another challenge to the logistics of vulnerable and high-value goods – en route as well as on arrival – and the need for secure airside facilities with quick turnaround times is becoming increasingly important.

So says Martin Taylor, Risk Manager at Rhenus Logistics South Africa who points out that crime statistics for the first quarter of 2021/2022 confirmed a steep 107.6% increase in truck hijackings. “These numbers bear out our concern that the safety of cargo in transit is one of the biggest challenges for the logistics industry in South Africa,” says Taylor. 

Despite the fact that the international airports in South Africa are deemed National Key Points, the brazen theft that occurs after airline touch down has rendered such airports as happy hunting grounds for syndicates. 

It is thus that Rhenus Logistics acquired a facility at OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) to create an end-to-end solution for vulnerable air imports and exports, enabling it to draw cargo directly from the airside and control the full handling process from the moment of landing. The Rhenus team is on-site and handles the process in its entirety.

Airside handling in action. Rhenus Logistics’ company representatives can collect the dedicated load distribution unit (LDU) directly from the aircraft thus minimising the risk of theft of cargo.
Airside handling in action. Rhenus Logistics’ company representatives can collect the dedicated load distribution unit (LDU) directly from the aircraft thus minimising the risk of theft of cargo.

The airside facility is particularly suited for the secure handling of high-risk cargo which includes electronics, pharmaceuticals, currency and other high-value items. “Such items may be particularly vulnerable to theft or pilferage and we have the level of expertise to minimise the risk of theft and combat the criminal element,” says Taylor. 

According to Taylor, the facility includes material handling equipment, racking and bulk storage, as well as a category 5 vault on site. “We provide the highest level of security with 24/7 camera surveillance, armed guards, as well as advanced access and perimeter security that is completed with a generator.”

Having the facility there enables direct access, bypassing third party handling, to eliminate delays and risky exposure. “This means faster transit times from ORTIA to our warehouses, improved transparency, better communication and lower risk, due to reduced waiting times. From arrival at the airport to goods loading and out the gate, we only need two hours, cutting down the transit time to a minimum,” says Taylor, adding that company representatives can collect the dedicated load distribution unit (LDU) directly from the aircraft.  

Isn’t it such a pity that all logistics operations in South Africa have to take into account the ‘crime’ factor along every step of the way? It’s all so sad but well done to Rhenus Logistics on making this plan.

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