Cargo Carriers joins South Africans in recognising the important role that the larger transport industry has to play in growing the country’s economy and, in so doing, helping to address unemployment and inequality.
These imperatives are aptly encapsulated in this year’s Transport Month theme, namely “together we move South Africa forward”.
Importantly, it also emphasises the need to establish robust partnerships between the private and public sectors to develop a world-class transportation, logistics and supply-chain industry in the country.
This has been a recurring message since Transport Month was first launched by the Department of Transport in 2005 during the Transport Lekgotla.
The importance of greater private- and public-sector collaboration is also highlighted in the National Development Plan, which prioritises large investments into port, rail and road infrastructure to significantly boost South Africa’s global competitiveness.
Cargo Carriers continues to demonstrate its commitment to promoting excellence in the industry, setting the standard by which the quality of transportation, logistics and supply-chain services is measured.
This is the outcome of more than 60 years of ongoing innovation, and the company’s many awards and accolades bears testament to the success of this significant investment into research and development.
Some of these include the Gold Logistics Achiever Award for supply-chain innovation in the clothing industry and for effective application of strategic, tactical and operational logistics and supply chain principles. The company also secured a Gold and Silver Logistics Achiever Award for Supply Chain Innovation and Optimisation.
The outcome of this research and development programme includes patented trailers designed for specialist haulage operations that have reduced fuel burn and lowered the overall carbon footprint of the large transport and logistics component of business.
Meanwhile, intelligent telematics have streamlined fleet management and improved flexibility on contracts, and the power of the Internet of Things is also being harnessed to bolster supply-chain efficiencies in this digital era.
This calculated and strategic approach has ensured that Cargo Carriers remains the first point of contact for an integrated transport logistics solution for participants operating in a myriad of specialist industries.
This is exactly what company founder, Des Bolton, set out to achieve when he started hauling with his first truck, “Old Faithful”, in 1956.
Young, ambitious and determined, Bolton’s entrepreneurial flair, combined with his integrity and pursuit for perfection, were already key differentiators in those very early years, and laid solid foundations for growth.
Bolton’s first milestone was opening a Swaziland branch three years later, paving the way forward for other important developments, including strategic acquisitions and diversification into new industries.
Cargo Carriers is still closely associated with the demanding transport and logistics requirements for the fuel, dry-bulk powders, steel, chemicals and sugar industries, while operating throughout South Africa and as far afield as Zambia.
The 1960s, 1970s and 1980s were also characterised by expansion into new geographical territories and digital breakthroughs.
Certainly, a major highlight was the company’s listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 1987.
Cargo Carriers has since retained its listing and recorded yet another milestone when it celebrated 30 years as a JSE-listed company in 2017.
While a listed company, Bolton’s key traits and values are still very much engrained in the company’s DNA.
They are evident in Cargo Carriers’ unrelenting commitment to the highest standards of corporate governance and ethics, as well as its strict adherence to internationally-recognised standards of quality and environmental stewardship.
In addition, the company is acknowledged by several industry regulatory accreditation bodies, including DEKRA, a global custodian of safety and quality standards for companies specialising in technology, environment and mobility.
The company is also a signatory to the Responsible Care programme of the Chemical Allied Industry Association, which promotes the safe handling and transportation of hazardous substances.
These initiatives are also in line with government’s own drive to significantly improve safety levels in the local transport industry.
Cargo Carriers applauds the Department of Transport for its unwavering commitment to this important aspect of the industry, and for again using Transport Month as an important forum to raise awareness of road safety.
These are in line with the “Cargo Way” which, in addition to championing strong values and work ethics, places immense credence on health and safety.
This culture spans the boardroom and various branches and is also evident in the behaviour of the many drivers tasked with safely hauling product and materials, including hazardous substances, for industrial clients.
High health and safety standards are ensured by bi-annual internal OHSAS 18001 compliance checks, as well as annual external 0HSAS 18001 and bi-annual SQAS assessments.
They are augmented by regular Road Safety Management System Compliance audits conducted by clients, as well as annual health inspections of drivers to ensure they are fit to perform their duties safely.
In addition to being a large employer, Cargo Carriers continues to invest heavily into skills development and employee-training programmes.
These initiatives are complemented by employee-share ownership programmes, such as Ikamvalethu and WomenCo.
Ikamvalethu has ensured employees enjoy meaningful participation in the economy, while creating a culture of ownership by allowing them to share in the future success of the business.
In a further development, WomenCo was launched earlier this year by the board of Ezethu Logistics, a subsidiary of Cargo Carriers, to bolster initiatives geared at transformation.
This new investment vehicle affords eligible woman employees of both the parent company and its subsidiary the opportunity to acquire a majority share in Ezethu Logistics.
Both initiatives complement Cargo Carriers’ dedication to transformation, demonstrated by its own robust Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) credentials.
Importantly, the company also won a Logistics Achiever Platinum Award for a B-BBEE programme in the sugar industry, and looks forward to driving meaningful change in the South African transport and logistics industry to address past inequalities.
Cargo Carriers lauds the Department of Transport for yet another successful Transport Month, and the commitment policymakers have demonstrated in mobilising all stakeholders in developing the country’s economy!