African supply chain leaders honoured

African supply chain leaders honoured

The winners of the second annual Africa Supply Chain Excellence Awards were announced at a gala event in Johannesburg, attended by more than 220 supply chain practitioners from across the continent. These awards recognise the vital role played by the supply chain management profession, honouring and celebrating the outstanding achievements of African organisations and individuals working in this field.

There was an overwhelmingly positive response to the awards this year, with 92 entries received from 26 countries across the continent, according to the organisers. Launched last year as a collaboration between leading industry organisations, the awards enable industry cooperation and knowledge sharing, in addition to promoting excellence in supply chain management. They also aim to drive awareness of the growing imperative to “green” supply chains and ensure that all their components – from sourcing and procurement to distribution – are genuinely sustainable and environmentally responsible.

Delivering essentials to desperate communities

CEVA Logistics, this year’s winner of the “Most Innovative Supply Chain Project” award, overcame the challenges of getting vital food and aid to desperate communities in Niger, where one third of the population of 18 million is facing food insecurities.

The logistics of getting food from Togo’s Lome port to this landlocked county are difficult. The situation was significantly exacerbated by continued unrest in the Burkina Faso red zone, through which the standard route from Lome to Niamey in Niger passes. CEVA Logistics embarked on its first contract for a high-profile international aid agency when the attacks were at their peak. The organisation developed a new route and worked closely with customs in Togo and Benin to push through a complex reform, establishing a new customs process and code overriding Africa Third Country Law at the check points.

This was not a simple re-routing of cargo, where one route is chosen instead of another: the Africa Supply Chain Excellence Awards judges noted that since the new route was established, other operators now use it on regular basis.

“The logistics and supply chain industry plays a critical role in keeping economies running, but some projects go further by supporting vulnerable populations that are the foundation of those economies,” said Guillaume Sauzedde, CEVA Logistics regional managing director for Middle East and Africa.

“At the Africa Supply Chain Excellence Awards, we wanted to highlight the logistics support for an international aid and relief agency in West Africa, where we helped change the status quo and find better ways to deliver aid supplies despite challenging conditions,” he continued. “A foundational element for us as a company is ‘acting for people’, so this was not just a matter of logistics; human lives were dependent on that aid. We are honoured to have received this award as a validation of our commitment to using logistics for good.”

Above (from left): Nnoni Mokgethi and Morris Kgama from Traxtion. Nicola Stewart, Cynthia Nkosi, Glynis Jordan, Terrence Martin, and Nicholas Somerai from CEVA Logistics with Africa Supply Chain Excellence Awards director Liesl de Wet. Head judge Garry Marshall with awards director Liesl De Wet.

Solar power for refrigerated trucks

The winner of the “Supply Chain Environmental Sustainability” award was Vector Logistics, for a project using solar technology on refrigerated trucks to protect the environment by reducing fossil fuel reliance and cutting carbon emissions. Vector Logistics first embarked on a two-year trial project on eight-tonne rigid vehicles. The trial results confirmed that a 25% solar energy contribution and 75% grid energy supply could run the fridge and tail lift continuously over 12 hours, without using diesel. Saving 3.52 litres of diesel per hour resulted in an average monthly CO2 reduction of 2.4 tonnes per vehicle.

Vector implemented four additional solar units on 14-tonne rigid vehicles. Since December 2022 the use of solar power on five rigid vehicles has achieved more than R1 million in fuel savings, a CO2 reduction of 89 tonnes, and reduced noise pollution and truck idling.

Strengthening healthcare supply chains

Non-governmental organisation Reach Out Cameroon won the “Responsible Sourcing and Procurement” award for its work in strengthening healthcare supply chains in regions impacted by ongoing political crises since 2016. The turmoil has resulted in poverty, poor communication networks, failing road infrastructure, violence, and serious crimes like kidnapping. Supply chain delays and poor inventory management caused by these challenges are compromising healthcare. Reach Out Cameroon is saving lives by building the capacity and skills of community health workers. This includes providing inventory management tools, as well as equipment to properly store and ensure the quality of medicine.

Optimising the trans-modal movement of coal

This year’s “Supply Chain Digital Transformation” award was presented to The Logistics Group (TLG) and Forte for a digital twin project that optimised the trans-modal movement of more than 900,000 tonnes of coal annually from Phalaborwa to the Port of Maputo, Mozambique. The digital twin was created via the integration of five different software applications.

Actual track and trace visibility of the movement of stock on rail locomotives and wagons has been achieved for the first time. Due to real-time stock visibility, the result is complete transparency on stock variances with improvements in the ratio for stock shortages based on loading versus offloading weight.

Skills development in the rail sector

Traxtion won the “Excellence in Transport” award for its contribution to skills development in the rail sector. The organisation has trained more than 700 drivers and 75 red seal technicians, conducts an average of 700 training interventions annually, and has a training footprint in eight African countries.

The winner of this year’s “Supply Chain Reengineering” award, meanwhile, was Union Coating Egypt. A reengineered and transformed supply chain enabled the business to cut lead times from 15 days to 24 hours, increase “on time in full” deliveries from 40 to 70%, and raise sales volumes by 30%.

Top honours in the category for “Excellence in Supply Chain Education and Youth Programmes” went to Multimix Academy in Nigeria.


Reducing carbon emissions and enhancing road safety

This year, the “Judges’ Choice Award” was presented to NCT Vryheid Road to Rail Logistics, which successfully opened the NCT Road-to-Rail transhipping and procurement depot facility within the Vryheid East marshalling yard following lengthy negotiations with Transnet. Suppliers in the catchment area are saving up to R70/tonne compared to the road to Richards Bay option. An 80-tonne weighbridge was installed with the permission of the KZN Department of Transport, allowing NCT to accept Performance Based Standards (PBS) vehicles. Delivery specifications, stock management, and truck scheduling systems are the same as at chip mills in Richards Bay.

In addition to saving money, the project is saving the environment: solar panels and gel batteries power the weighbridge, lighting, and electric fence. At 80,000 tonnes per annum throughput, NCT’s facility has removed 2,350 trips per annum between Vryheid and Richards Bay. The benefits are less congestion on the road and improved road safety, as well as a 1,552-tonne reduction in CO2 emissions each year.

The organisations that partnered to present the 2023 Africa Supply Chain Excellence Awards were the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport South Africa (CILTSA), Logis-T Africa, the Road Freight Association (RFA), South African Express Parcel Association (SAEPA), SAPICS (The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management), the South African Association for Freight Forwarders (SAAFF), Transport Forum, and Smart Procurement World. This year’s awards programme was sponsored by CEVA Logistics, DP World, Vericon, the RFA, SAAFF, and SAEPA.

This year’s judges were Garry Marshall (head judge), Martin Bailey (CILTSA), David Crewe-Brown (SAPICS), Dean Gielink (SAEPA), Mike Johnston (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals), Gavin Kelly (RFA), Dr Juanita Maree (SAAFF), Thobekilo Nxumalo, Leon Raath, and Clayton Thomas (Southern African Institute for Industrial Engineering).

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Focus on Transport

FOCUS on Transport and Logistics is the oldest and most respected transport and logistics publication in southern Africa.
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