2018 has been an interesting year for local supply chains, perhaps most notably due to the impact of escalating costs, and the resultant adoption of advancing technologies. The volatile fuel prices in both crude oil and diesel have had an immense effect on the cost of doing business, and have therefore increased the need for more creative business models to remain profitable. One tactic being adopted is that of manufacturers shifting closer to their customer base, resulting in more diverse business locations and progressively flexible supply chains that allow companies to be more customer-centric to service client needs better and faster.
This transport month we celebrate ladies taking the wheel in our transport division
South Africa is said to have an astonishingly low rate of employed women. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) only 50% of women between the ages of 25 and 54 are employed. With a skills shortage and burgeoning demand for the transportation of goods, the transport industry is well suited to provide a solution for women whose innate attributes could make them well suited for driving trucks.
Recession proofing your business with smart supply chain decisions
Recently, South Africa entered a technical recession for the first time since 2009, with Statistics SA revising the growth forecast downwards to 2.6%. There is no doubt our economy is taking strain thanks to burgeoning fuel prices, exchange rate volatility and weakened business confidence, and while the public is still grappling to understand the impact of the news, arguably the first area to be impacted will be consumer spending. The tightening of belts will have a direct knock-on to industry thanks to a decreased demand for goods and services in most sectors. For companies, an economic downturn is by no means easy, however, re-evaluating supply chain strategy to improve efficiency and flexibility, and more so to capitalise on hidden opportunity, can go a long way in helping to weather the recessionary storm.
Tesla’s all-electric semi-truck is said to be going into production in 2019, with numerous prototypes already being spotted driving in preparation for the final model. Although this reality may still be far off for our local market, deliberating its impending impact is vital to ensure local supply chains and the economy at large are prepared. As autonomous truck technology speedily progresses, concerns are being raised regarding the impact on the jobs of the more than four million South African truck drivers. This is not a purely local conversation however, with tens of millions of people employed as truck drivers more across the globe.
The last century has witnessed the global population quadruple, in 1915 there was an estimated populace of 1.8 billion, at present, according to an estimate by the United Nations, there are just over 7 billion people with predictions of reaching 9.7 billion by 2050. This growth, together with increasing income levels in developing countries (which have an impact on dietary changes such as consuming increased amounts of protein and meat) are driving up the global food demand.