Specialised, Agile Shipping Ensures On-Time Vehicle Delivery and Boosts Economic Growth

Specialised, Agile Shipping Ensures On-Time Vehicle Delivery and Boosts Economic Growth

The automotive sector is based on precision delivery. This means logistics companies must be agile, reliable, and willing to step up even at short notice, writes TAAREK HINEDI, vice president of FedEx’s Express Middle East and Africa operations.

Businesses see logistics as a critical component of manufacturing operations. With traditional logistics slowly becoming outdated, it’s vital for businesses to constantly evolve and find new ways to manage fast-paced production and time-sensitive deliveries for a growing customer base.

Customisable shipping solutions matching personalised delivery preferences 

Every customer has specific shipping requirements, and will benefit from a logistics provider that can offer customisable solutions that help businesses to manage shipments in unpredictable market conditions. Take, for instance, the South African Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the automotive space that have designed production systems relying on car parts and components consistently and reliably imported and exported at specific points in time, with a wide range of customers in mind.

With South Africa expected to be the continent’s largest automotive industry, a time-definite international priority delivery solution is required to move car components from multiple global markets, for the manufacturing sector to excel. As well as keeping down inventory and investment costs, and boosting warehousing and fulfilment efficiency, this kind of delivery solution will also ensure that all heavyweight or bulky international consignments are safely delivered to a destination of choice within the preferred transit days.

Challenges in global supply chains – such as the massive port congestion and the added pressure from the conflict between Russia and Ukraine – have resulted in some OEMs in South Africa missing their usual sea-freight shipments. In the automotive manufacturing sector, time is money, especially when one delay has enormous cost implications. It is advisable for OEMs in South Africa to seek alternative and suitable automated air-freight shipping services that give businesses a condensed and interactive shipping experience and help to manage shipments in unpredictable market conditions. This will avoid production-line disruptions and other significant risks, enabling manufacturers to survive and grow. 

Air-freight services offer OEMs a competitive advantage

For South African OEMs to import and export automotive components and still meet growing customer needs, requires them to take advantage of air-freight services. These services support OEMs to bypass congested ports and corridors, reduce transit times, and strike the optimal balance between costs and delivery times. It’s an added advantage for businesses if the air-freight provider enables them to submit their customs documentation electronically for international shipments, thus saving time and money, and reducing potential customs delays for clients.

OEMs that integrate air-freight logistics into their strategies are afforded the benefits of flexible, speedy, convenient, secure, and reliable international shipping services. Setbacks and disruptions to the shipment of time-sensitive goods can be eliminated with air-freight services, giving OEMs the capability to efficiently handle the pressure of meeting production-line deadlines.

Automotive manufacturing is key to boosting the economy of South Africa 

According to the National Association of Automotive Manufactures of South Africa (NAAMSA), automotive export sales recorded a significant year-on-year increase of 104,6% (21 199 units to 41 474 units) in September 2022, compared to the 20 275 vehicles exported in September 2021. In 2020, motor vehicle parts and accessories were the third most imported products in South Africa, with the most notable import trade countries being Germany, Thailand, China, United States, and Japan.

Automotive industry growth can significantly improve the overall South African economy through its contribution to gross domestic product (GDP), employment, and skills development. The South African automotive industry’s contribution to the GDP in 2020 stood at 4,9% (2,8% manufacturing and 2,1% retail).

Having a reliable air-freight global service provider will ensure that the automotive sector remains relevant and meets all delivery deadlines to continue attracting foreign direct investments and creating job opportunities for South Africans.

Moving shipments quickly for last-mile fulfilment

With the automotive industry requiring a highly specialised form of distribution, it’s vital for manufacturers to demand the highest, most agile and adaptable international standards from their logistics providers.

In addition to agile and adaptable shipping solutions, OEMs should also utilise value-added services like the proactive scheduling and pre-shipment customs expertise offered by experienced global air-freight providers. This will allow them to enjoy a smoother customs clearance process.

Whether it’s managing car component delivery, distributing spare parts to the motor trade, or launching a new line of accessories to a dealer network, moving shipments quickly to meet even the tightest deadlines is important to ensure customer satisfaction.

Teaming up with expert air-freight providers means a reduction in automotive component delays and a seamless customs-clearance process. Last-mile fulfilment for OEM end customers is possible with global air-freight services that ensure delivery of time-sensitive shipments from across the world within the most preferred timelines.

To learn more about the latest insights in the logistics industry, please visit:

FedEx Business Insights Hub

LinkedIn FedEx Go Global


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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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