Representative association for express freight and the courier industry the South African Express Parcel Association (Saepa) executive director Garry Marshall believes that, across the different segments of transportation, express freight remains the strongest growth point for the industry.
“With the global tendency towards pulling goods through the supply chain based on consumer demand (rather than the old push methodology of pushing products into the consumer’s hands), there is a need to keep high-value goods off warehouse shelves and move them into the consumer’s hands as they are needed, and I believe our industry is perfectly poised to do that,” he adds.
In developed countries, the freight and courier industry percentage growth is three times that of the gross domestic product (GDP) percentage growth and in developing countries the industry percentage growth is about five to seven times faster than the GDP percentage growth of individual countries.
Although trends over the past two years have found that a lot of low-end airfreight has moved to road, Marshall believes that airfreight is still a fast-growing component of transportation. “I suspect that, over time, the use of road to transport goods will be affected as the tolling system is implemented on South Africa’s roads and more road freight is moved to rail,” he says.
Meanwhile, Marshall says that companies in the express industry are still trying to recover from the recession, but there has been a positive impact on companies that have redesigned supply chains to have the low-value goods moving slower and the high-value goods moving faster. “The industry has become a key component of the supply chain, whereas three to four years ago, it was not as popular,” he adds.
“I do not believe that the industry’s growth rate will slow down, as courier and freight services have become a part of everything, from the delivery of cosmetics and clothing to safety boots and car parts,” explains Marshall.
“Companies continue to refine their processes and lower costs. The industry is moving in a new direction, which also includes technological developments,” concludes Marshall.