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Transport industry loses billions!!

In an overnight meeting on Thursday, the RFA and unions signed an undertaking that they agree to a three-year industry wage agreement, which is expected to be signed at approximately 10:00 today. This will end the strike with immediate effect.

Magretia Brown-Engelbrecht, labour relations manager of the Road Freight Association (RFA), estimates that employees in this industry are losing in the region of R270 million in wages per week during the strike, with around R1,2 billion in turnover being lost on the part of industry per week!

This week, in an effort to bring the ongoing truckers’ strike to an end, three of the four unions involved went into talks on Tuesday morning (October 9).

Representatives from the Transport Allied Workers’ Union of South Africa (Tawusa), the Professional Transport Workers’ Union (PTWU) and the Motor Transport Workers’ Union (MTWU) spent the entire morning behind locked doors. The meeting was facilitated by the CCMA, and attended by officials from the Department of Labour.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Road Freight Employers’ Association (RFEA) was informed that the unions had a revised stance: a wage increase of 19 percent over two years, compared to the 18 percent over two years union leadership had indicated it would accept a week ago. The RFEA offered 17 percent.

The unions also wanted to re-open discussions on issues that had been previously resolved – but the RFEA, “appalled” that the unions had returned to negotiations with shifted goals, said it could not responsibly consider this type of bad-faith bargaining. The unions’ revised stance put an end to talks on Tuesday.

The three unions suspended their participation in the strike, with their members returning to work. Members of the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) remained on strike.

 
They all say no to e-tolling

They all say no to e-tolling

Government intends launching the controversial Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project e-tolling system ahead of the court review of the decision in November – and the Minister of Transport has urged the public to purchase e-Tags. But there is a thunderous roar of protest in all circles against the concept.

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) filed a replying affidavit on Monday (October 8) and is now more adamant that the decision to toll the Gauteng freeway upgrade was a pitiable one.

 

RTMC out of line with sarcastic attack

Road safety specialist and founder of Driving.co.za, Rob Handfield-Jones, has come out in defence of critics of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC). This after RTMC spokesman Ashref Ismail responded to concerns voiced by the AA in The New Age newspaper about the way in which traffic enforcement is conducted.

Said Ismail: “This is why the national rolling enforcement plan is critical in ensuring scarce resources are deployed in areas where they can make the biggest impact in reducing offences that lead to deaths.

 

Faster customs services at container depots

Faster, better customs services at container depots around the country are in the pipeline. The South African Revenue Service (SARS) launched its “customs modernisation journey” on September 17, with the aim of improving the speed and efficiency of physical inspections at depots.

The largest container depot in Durban, operated by South African Container Depots (SACD), is the first to be modernised. A number of staff will relocate from their current offices in the city centre to the depot.

A noteworthy announcement is that inspections will be carried out between 07:30 to 16:00 (they were previously done between 11:00 and 13:00).

   
Hino announces production in Malaysia

Hino announces production in Malaysia

Hino Motors of Japan has set up a joint venture with Malaysian company MBM Resources Berhad (MBMR) to build a truck manufacturing plant in that country. The new plant will supply the Malaysian domestic market as well as further strengthening Hino’s business base in Asia as an export hub.

Construction is scheduled to begin in February 2013, with production start-up at the beginning of 2014. The plant will have an initial production capacity of 10 000 units a year.

 
Is this the truck of the future?

Is this the truck of the future?

MAN’s Concept S was one of the must-see exhibits at the recent IAA in Germany. Linked to an aerodynamic trailer from Krone, it results in a mammoth 25 percent fuel and emissions saving. These sort of savings normally come at the expense of payload – but not with this concept vehicle (it can carry the same load volume of a conventional truck).

So how has the company achieved these savings? We’ll tell you all about it in the November issue of FOCUS – look out for our bumper IAA feature!
 
Van stuns UK market with its fuel economy

Van stuns UK market with its fuel economy

While we’re focused on litres per kilometre here in SA, over in the UK it’s all about miles per gallon – and when it comes to the Fleet World MPG Marathon, fuel economy is the point of focus to the exclusion of pretty much everything else.

This year, however, a star emerged. Vauxhall’s Vivaro ecoFlex triumphed with a stunning 59,31 percent improvement on the combined fuel economy figure.

This sensational result wasn’t just the best percentage improvement for a commercial vehicle, it put cars to shame too. Soundly beaten rivals included the Ford Transit Custom (new to the market) and the Volkswagen Transporter.

   
British tyre expo ends

British tyre expo comes to a close

Brityrex International kicked off on Tuesday (October 9) at EventCity in Manchester in the UK, finishing yesterday (October 11). Kingpin Tyres, Tyresure, Tyre Bay Direct and Euro-Tyre are the latest to join the line-up, giving the show a lot of drawing power.

Kingpin Tyres, the Shropshire-based retreader, exhibited its new range of run-flat tyres this year, with six sizes marketed under the Kingpin brand. The company will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2013 and is feeling the benefits of recent capital investment in tyre building equipment. The decision to expand its manufacturing capacity and product range has given Kingpin a lot to boast about, and Brityrex provided the perfect opportunity to do just that.

 

Truckers’ dispute deadlocked

About 20 000 workers in the road freight transport sector have been on strike over wages since September 24. The strike has caused massive loss of productivity as fuel and other urgent service deliveries have been interrupted. The South African public and the economy as a whole have been affected.

The Road Freight Employers’ Association (RFEA) and unions were in talks on Friday, Saturday and Sunday but were unable to resolve the dispute. They are still in talks in an attempt to break the deadlock. The unions continue to demand double-digit figures even though the strike has already cost the industry significantly.

As much as the RFEA wishes to resolve the dispute, it is wary about agreeing to an increase that won’t be sustainable. The unions have rejected the employers’ offer of an eight percent wage increase.

 
Tyre Expo India

Tyrexpo hits India and Asia

Tyrexpo India and Tyrexpo Asia will be attracting visitors and exhibitors from all over the tyre world with their upcoming shows in 2013. For Asia, it will be the ninth edition of the exhibition, and it’s set to be the biggest ever staged at the Singapore Expo Centre. It will only be India’s second staging, but the show is set to be a global trade interchange for the booming Indian tyre market.

Tyrexpo India 2013 takes place from July 9 to 11 at the Chennai Trade Centre and aims to offer international companies direct access to the developing Indian tyre market. It will also give Indian suppliers the chance to grow their export sales and expand their contacts and networks.

   
volvo-1-small

Going once, going twice – sold!

The first brand new Volvo FH to roll off the production line has been sold for a record price on eBay.

A 10-day charity auction that started on September 19 saw 35 bidders from around Europe place more than 95 bids for the sought-after truck. The winning bid of 150 000 (more than R1,6 million) far exceeded the market price.

All proceeds will go to Star for Life, a non-profit organisation founded in 2005 that has a unique education programme aimed at halting the spread of HIV/Aids among young people in southern Africa.

 
toyota-1-small

A new home for Toyota SA

Toyota Motors South Africa has reaffirmed its local and global ambitions with the official opening of its new Parts Distribution Warehouse on Monday (October 1) in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.

The R363-million centre was built and equipped in 15 months and has been designed to serve the company’s southern African Toyota, Lexus and Hino dealer networks with daily deliveries. It will also support 70 international destinations where proudly South African-built Toyota vehicles are found.

   
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