Shipments in the renewable energy sector are helping Tigers maintain volumes, bringing a ray of sunshine to the rainbow nation.
Paul Lawrence, managing director of Tigers Global Logistics South Africa says that renewable energy, mainly solar power helped the company maintain volumes in the first half of 2019.
He comments: “While existing support has traded lower year on year, new segments and new business has allowed us to maintain year on year volumes up to this point.”
Lawrence predicts that the second half of the year will be an improvement on the first half, with positive overall growth. In South Africa, Tigers mainly operates in the retail, automotive, pharma, perishables and industrial sectors.
He adds: “We have added renewable energy and technology this year and our exports into Africa have grown.”
The company is handling two of the biggest solar panel suppliers. The airfreight division also handles considerable exports of IT equipment into Africa.
Tigers also offers specialist services for customers in South Africa, with Lawrence saying: “We offer pharma capability, Tiger Fresh (our perishables solution), general freight forwarding, hand-carry, SmartHub:Connect visibility and data analysis, and e-commerce fulfilment.”
With offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth, Lawrence says these are the places to do business in South Africa. He says: “We believe these are the main centres in South Africa and we have the country well covered.”
For the future, Lawrence sees a greater focus on consumer finished goods to cater for e-commerce growth. He also predicts the market will become more competitive.
For the most part, it is “reasonably easy” to do business in South Africa. Lawrence says: “Some areas are becoming more regulated and certain requirements need to be met before certain products can be imported, specifically electrical consumer products.”
Despite South Africa being much stronger and more stable than many African nations, Lawrence says it faces the challenges of rising costs, bureaucracy and declining infrastructure due to the lack of maintenance.
He says: “Customs has implemented new advanced manifest requirements and introduced penalties if the timelines are not met. There are also specific requirements required for all electrical/electronic products that require a letter of authority from the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications before any of these products can be imported.”