Covid-19 has not done importers any favours. According to Shatho Manyanda, acting general manager Table Bay Cold Storage, markets are shrinking due to low purchase power, while competition is on the increase between local and imported goods.
It is with these challenges in mind that the company has invested in improving customer services to assist in reducing costs in its clients’ value chain.“We are continuously developing our Warehouse Management System (WMS) to have one-top traceability and inventory management modules in place. Upskilling labour is another important focus for us as it is all about adding value,” he said.
“We understand that the economy is not doing well and as a result we restructured our costing to provide affordable services with f lexible operating times.”
Manyanda told Freight Newsthat the collapse of the rand against other trading currencies had had a negative impact on the import sector, while the current Covid-19 pandemic continued to wreak havoc on operations.
“We had to put up adequate measures to protect our employees, customers and products against Covid-19. We do expect to see a drop in the number of imports when compared to last year mainly due to ongoing Covid disruptions.”
The lockdown restrictions following the outbreak had not made it easier and the general contraction of the economy was a serious concern, he added.
"Logistics costs continue to go up and congestion at the ports and borders have a major impact, causing delays and further cost increases.”
Manyanda emphasised that there were opportunities for importers in these trying times including creating employment.