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Overcoming Africa’s logistics challenges

As a logistics provider in Africa, DACHSER South Africa (SA) needs to transport a wide variety of goods to a range of remote and underdeveloped destinations that can be challenging from a border control, customs and infrastructure perspective. Forty years of experience and a solid network comes in to play when dealing with African destinations, says DACHSER SA managing director Detlev Duve.
Overcoming Africa’s logistics challenges

For example, DACHSER has taken care of the transport of chemical products for a large European chemical company to various African countries for more than eleven years. “We recently delivered more than 100 pallets of chemicals to Ethiopia. Booking and handing over to the airline was a smooth process, as we worked hand in hand with an agent in Ethiopia,” says Duve. “The shipments – among them dangerous goods - were carefully packed according to the IATA regulation with all documentation.”

DACHSER provides many value-added services, and this case was no exception. “Due to our experience in dealing with customs, the customs clearance went smoothly and there were no delays. We believe in keeping our clients informed, providing regular updates.”

A leading supplier of building materials in Africa provided a challenging task for the DACHSER team and soon became another happy client. “DACHSER delivered building material to Kinshasa last year for a hospital training development project built as a result of an agreement with the Democratic Republic of Congo and China,” says Duve. “A procurement company sourced all the materials in South Africa which then had to be packed in a specific way and transported. DACHSER took care of all the packaging and handling – including checking for quantities, quality and breakages and then advising the client.”

“This was a very large load for air transport, so we chartered a special cargo charter flight,” explains Duve. “In these situations, you need to ensure that you have special authorisation to land and that you have made prior arrangements at the destination for handling as there are no handling facilities on hand. The flight had to be offloaded rapidly and we needed to co-ordinate this process carefully with the client.”

Delivering carefully packed ceremonial clothing for celebrations in Sudan or supplying Southern African safari lodges with all their furnishing needs is all in a day’s work for DACHSER. “We are competent in moving products through Africa, from oversized capital equipment to urgent samples to general cargo,” says Duve. “We have an in-depth understanding of the complexities of supply chain management and logistics in the African continent, such as customs, inspections, infrastructure challenges and delays at border crossings. We further offer value-added warehousing solutions from our large warehousing space in Johannesburg.”

DACHSER works with reliable partners that are strategically positioned in growing markets throughout the continent including Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya and Ghana. In Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco, DACHSER has been present with its own country organizations for decades. Closer to South Africa, you’ll find DACHSER agents in neighbouring countries Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, as well as Angola and Mauritius.

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