It is going to take at least five years for South Africa’s economy to recover from the impact of lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic. This is according to the Road Freight Association’s Chief Executive Gavin Kelly. “There are numerous and complex challenges that lie ahead for trucking operators in our new volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world. To fight these effectively and efficiently, membership of a trade association such as the RFA is a business imperative.”
Over the coming years here are just six obstacles that road freight operators will face:
- Reduced markets: reduced demand for transport of goods, as consumers purchase less and less.
- Higher transport (energy input / alternative energy) costs.
- Increased costs in maintaining personal barriers / protection against COVID-19 – and preparing for whatever other pandemic may be around the corner.
- Stiff competition from e-commerce platforms: these will undermine conventional retail models and open up opportunities for the parcel/courier industry, which in turn will affect large retail logistics chains and conventional retail models.
- Labour demands: there will be continued pressure for increased / maintained wage / benefit levels, which will not be sustainable going forward.
- Continuous pressure to cut costs: automation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution will definitely change current operations and transport methodologies.
“Most operators will simply not have the capacity, expertise or resources to deal with the variety and complexity of these challenges,” says Kelly. “The RFA has the network, the knowledge and the know-how to inform and guide members through these volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous times”.
Kelly encourages trucking companies of all sizes to join the Association: ““Being a part of a membership-based organisation such as the RFA is now more important than ever,” says Kelly. “Together we are stronger! Can you afford NOT to be a member?”