The perfect coffee and a professional, efficient transport industry – both require a deft hand, patience and determination.
I’m not sure how many of our readers are coffee drinkers ... I’d imagine that a fair number of you are. The coffee machine here at the office is always primed and ready to brew and, at home, my trusty machine is almost constantly grinding away and pouring out double shots.
As I type this, I’m sipping on a delicious cappuccino from a restaurant up the road. (No poetic licence here, I really am – we’ve just suffered a power failure and aren’t allowed to brew coffee or boil the kettle on generator power.)
Anyhow, I’ve always admired and enjoyed a perfectly crafted milk creation (cappuccinos, lattes, and so on). So I’ve decided to teach myself a skill or two in extracting a good shot, frothing milk into a rich micro-foam, pouring fancy “latte art” and generally making delicious drinks.
What’s this got to do with the world of transport and logistics? Well, it’s got me thinking about how learning a skill and mastering an art are losing favour to convenience and instant gratification. After all, I could have just gone and bought a hand-held milk-whizzer, instant-froth thingy for a couple of hundred rand.
Doing it properly takes more time, patience, trial and error (plus many bags of coffee and litres of milk). See where I’m going with this?
Creating a sustainable, world-class transport, logistics or related operation takes time, funding, dedication, blood, sweat and tears. It doesn’t happen overnight and most new entrants would probably not get it right first shot – certainly not without help or mentorship. Likewise, learning how to competently and efficiently drive a fully-loaded rig...
The skills crisis in South Africa – across all industries – is, indeed, one that our country needs to overcome as a matter of urgency if future generations are to take the country forward.
We’ve written about the issue at length. In June, for example, I interviewed Hans Theunissen – an industry stalwart, who, at the age of 80, is more passionate than ever about passing on knowledge to drivers, technicians, operators, and even OEMs, in order to improve the industry for the future.
In this issue, on page 14, you’ll read about three gentlemen and their local start-up – New Energy Solutions. Trial and error, faith, and great expense has resulted in a device they’ve engineered to what they believe to be world-beating standards. Now they face the equally demanding task of convincing the industry of its capabilities.
We also recently received a letter (which you can read on page 10) from the students behind the Transport and Logistics Student Association (TaLSA) at the University of Johannesburg. Their sole aim is to raise the knowledge, quality and preparedness of students who will enter this industry’s workforce once they graduate. These young people are willing to get out there, put in the hard graft, and make sure they can hit the ground running to the best of their abilities once they enter the industry.
Indeed, the trucking, transport and logistics industry is a little more complicated than brewing some beans and pouring the perfect rosetta... Thankfully, there are some dedicated individuals who have a passion for knowledge, skill and an industry that is professionally run.
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