SA’s dependence on road transport needs to shift- CSIR

The Ninth Annual State of Logistics Survey reports that logistics costs rose to 12.8 % in 2012. Transport costs’ contribution to logistics costs was pinned at a very high 61 %, reportedly far higher than the global average. As South Africa is extremely dependent on road transport for service delivery, the survey stresses that this does not bode well for economic growth.

Reportedly, South Africa’s roads carry 70.1 % of goods transported. Survey respondents noted that the condition of South Africa’s roads is one of the biggest challenges for the country’s transport sector as it causes considerable increases to logistics costs. Further, rising fuel costs, non-compliance and a lack of law enforcement were seen as the top three challenges for the logistics industry.

A lack of law enforcement and non compliance causes hurdles in the logistics industry which can actually be managed. Further, rising fuel costs are a heavy burden for the industry to bear and has caused a shift to a greener approach with a reliance on logistics software to ensure optimal routes and increases in efficiencies.

In accordance with globalisation and modernisation, the logistics industry has become reliant on logistics management software, such as warehouse software and transport software, to ensure that the industry can cope with ever increasing challenges and costs.

In light of fuel efficiencies, there is still room for improvement. However, courier companies are moving towards more economical methods by ensuring an intermodular approach to service delivery. Further, competitors products can be stocked side by side in warehouses , thereby decreasing delivery costs and increasing service delivery.

The 9th State of Logistics Survey further reports that inland freight volumes have risen considerably with a slight increase in overall rail market share.  As South Africa keeps building on its infrastructure and alternative methods of transportation become more available, affordable and efficient, the country’s logistics industry will grow considerably.