Diversified logistics company Imperial Logistics reports that there is a growing interest, awareness and maturity around the business necessity for green logistics and aims to place this environment-friendly trend higher on its business agenda.
Green logistics is a form of logistics calculated to be environmentally, and often socially, friendly in addition to being economically functional. Many modern companies pride themselves on their environmental-friendly policies and practices.
The group’s marketing director Abrie de Swardt tells Engineering News that it is not enough for companies to only function on biodiesels. “Unless the inefficiencies are dealt with over time in the supply chain, the logistics solutions available to businesses will not be sustainable,” he adds.
He reports that there is much waste in some supply chains that Imperial Logistics works with. Green logistics, he believes, is a relatively easy way to reduce carbon emissions and costs.
“Till now, the company has been relatively quiet in the area of sustainability, and, more specifically, green logistics, but it feels that it is time to take a stand and be seen as a leader in this area of the logistics industry,” says De Swardt.
Together with Cardiff University and retail outlet Woolworths, Imperial Logistics compiled a technical case study that researched ways to reduce ‘empty miles’ and carbon emissions related to fuel consumption.
The company reports that the case study has been released and has created interest among other businesses in participating in green logistics.
Meanwhile, the company won an Enviro Award, in October, which was introduced for the first time at this year’s Logistics Achiever Awards. The award recognises outstanding professionalism and excellence in the effective application of strategic, tactical and operational logistics and supply chain management principles, concepts and practices in Southern Africa.
De Swardt feels that this award is an affirmation of Imperial Logistics’ commitment to green logistics.
Two Imperial Logistics operating companies, TFD Network Africa and The Cold Chain, received the Professional Management Review Golden Arrow and the Silver Arrow awards, respectively, for overall outstanding performance in the national survey on fast-moving consumer goods supply chain management companies.
Imperial Logistics has also received two supply chain Education Excellence category awards for operations management. The company’s commitment to development was recognised when it won the award for Corporate Educator of the Year 2008 and its operating company, Volition Consulting Services, received an award in the Operations Management Programme of the Year 2008 category.
Imperial Logistics was also short-listed along with other blue-chip companies, such as global management consulting service Accenture, computer software package Microsoft and beverage company Coca-Cola for the African Employer and Human Capital Investor of the Year.
De Swardt reports that for Imperial Logistics to be named in the same category as these companies is testimony to the type of work that it does in terms of investing in people, training and development.
Imperial Logistics has acquired two strategic logistics service providers. It acquired a 60% share in express freight and logistics specialist Express Hauliers and a 70% share in freight forwarding company Logistical Transport Services. These acquisitions have extended the company’s logistics service offering and customer base, while strengthening the relationships with existing customers.
“The company is excited about its growth prospects. We had a relatively successful 2008/9 financial year and, in this new financial year, we are aiming to grow, not only through acquisitions, but also through organic growth in terms of new customers,” says De Swardt.
Imperial Logistics has also developed a new division to facilitate growth through the Imperial Logistics Integration Services, which is a light asset business unit that will consoli- date some of its businesses, such as supply chain consulting services through Volition Consulting Services, freight forwarding and clearing services with Megafreight and pallet tracking technology provided by PalTrack for the fruit supply chain in South Africa.
He says that the unit will develop and sell supply chain solutions into the market. Traditionally, the company was seen mainly as a logistics company, but De Swardt says that the company now also provides excellent supply chain management solutions .
Earlier this year, Imperial Logistics acquired a 60% share in bulk transporters Tip Trans Holdings, which branched out its services offering to the mining, construction, building and agricultural industries in South Africa, while expanding its value-added services to new and existing customers.