Importance of Transport in Africa

UD Trucks Marks Importance of Transport in Africa’s Developing Economy

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In recognition of national Transport Month in South Africa this past October, UD Trucks remains committed to providing the best possible transport solutions for local businesses.

“Trucking forms an integral part of the African economy and the development of the continent’s infrastructure, business and ultimately, its people,” said Gert Swanepoel, acting vice president of UD Trucks Southern Africa.  “UD Trucks has been part of the South African transport landscape since 1962 and will continue to play its part to ensure that the wheels of industry and business continue to rotate effectively and productively.”

Africa’s developing economy drives the demand for competitively priced and efficient transport services.  Focussing on real added value by ensuring the lowest optimum lifecycle costs, UD Trucks aims to support customers to take their businesses to the highest levels of productivity and profit.

Trucking is a diversified business activity playing an important role in many economic sectors from agriculture, mining, quarrying, manufacturing, construction, distribution and forestry, to household removals, container cartage, bulk fuel transport and rural bread delivery.  One also has to keep in mind that in Africa, trucks have to travel long distances, often on poorly maintained roads, to get the job done. 

“Although the trucking industry remains one of the most dynamic and rewarding industries, it poses many challenges at the same time,” explained Swanepoel. 

For this reason, UD Trucks focusses a lot of its attention and resources on training and improving the skills levels within the industry.

The UD Trucks Competency Development Centre was specifically established to provide staff, dealers and fleet owners with world-class development opportunities through various technical and non-technical training courses. One of the key focus areas is driver training.   

“Safety and effective maintenance of trucks has of late become a highly contentious issue, and has in a way tarnished the industry’s image,” said Swanepoel.  “Through the UD Competence Development Centre, fleet owners have the opportunity to empower their employees to make knowledgeable decisions about the way they operate their trucks on our roads.”

Since the inception of the programme in 2002, UD Trucks have trained around 120 drivers per year, meaning that the company has added around 1 700 skilled and qualified drivers to the industry. This training is available to all UD fleet owners, or at one of the brand’s 65 dealers situated across southern and Eastern Africa, through various train the trainer programmes.

UD Trucks are also assembled at its plant in Rosslyn, Gauteng, and employees are constantly trained to ensure the highest levels of safety and quality. 

“One of the sure ways to ensure the vitality of the industry is to empower people through learning and skills training opportunities.  As a company, it is a privilege to be able to provide these opportunities to our staff and our community,” said Swanepoel.

National Transport Month serves as a perfect platform for stakeholders within the industry to come together to discuss the challenges problems facing the transport industry, and to find implementable solutions that is to the benefit of all involved. 

“We are proud to participate in several industry forums and discussions, including Naamsa and the Road Freight Association, to ensure the recognition and advancement of road transport within the region,” concluded Swanepoel.

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