Loss of trust, reputational damage, decreasing investor confidence, companies choosing to avoid using South Africa’s ports resulting in the loss of jobs and slow economic growth. These are just some of the consequences of massive disruptions to South Africa’s supply chains over recent weeks. The cyber-attack on Transnet, which brought our ports to a halt and resulted in a virtual standstill for 12 days, is the latest in a series of severe supply chain shocks. Throughout this time, the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF) has played a key and active role in tackling the challenges that have unfolded and collaborating with stakeholders to restore some normality to the supply chain in several ways:
The disruptions have provided valuable lessons for everyone, which need to be incorporated into actions going forward.
We need to rebuild trust with importers and exporters (the cargo owners) to ensure that logistics networks can support their brand promises to their end customers, the public at large. Whilst some stability has now been restored at Transnet, SAAFF calls on all stakeholders – from the private and public sectors, to work as a collective structure to ensure that these disruptions do not happen again. The transport nodes need to be developed and reinforced in the correct balance, Waterside, terminals, road and rail need to function together, with a strong supportive and escalation structure in the centre that will ensure sustainability and predictability in order to support regional and International trade effectively.
SAAFF supports the freight forwarders and the supply chain industry and are committed to playing our role in economic growth and have been doing this for over 100 years.
In its cohesive efforts to address the challenges and restore an efficient, effective and reliable supply chain flow of container traffic, SAAFF will continue to work cohesively and decisively until a sense of normality is achieved.
By Dr Juanita Maree – Chairperson: SAAFF
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