Transport Companies in South Africa for Almost 400 Years

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Published: 25th June 2012
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Transport companies in South Africa have as long a history as the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck at the Cape of Good Hope, when the Dutch set up their facilities to provide their ships with fresh food and water. Thereafter, when parts of the interior of the country were settled, transport companies became lucrative businesses.

The ox wagon drivers were known as “transport riders”, and providing nothing untoward befell them, they plied their trade from the Cape to the interior. Goods, supplies, people and their furniture, were thus loaded and moved, either in open or closed wagons. The early destinations were likely to be Kimberley and Johannesburg, until the service of movers to Pretoria also became another popular route.

The advent of transport companies in South Africa had arrived. Today, the discerning customer will of course, only engage the services of a moving company with closed trucks for house or office removals. Depending on what is to be transported, and to and from what destination, there are many modes of transport available.

Types of Transport Companies in South Africa

● Household movers
● Office/corporate movers
● Local, long distance and international
● Haulage
● Freight
● Logistics and supply chain
● Abnormal load movers
● Rigging and machine moving
● Trucking
● Car Hire
● Shuttle services
● Taxi
● Bus services
● Airlines
● Rail
● Sea

While some companies provide more than one of these services, each one of these functions is specialised in itself. Although this is logical, the multiple ramifications are not always recognised.

One mode of transport does not viably suit every purpose. Drivers require varied qualifications and experience. Content of staff training courses differs widely. Sales staff need to specialise, in order to provide customers with accurate information.

Movers in Pretoria

Fortunately, GPS navigation has made route planning easier for drivers to follow without getting lost on the roads. Time literally is money for such companies and their customers alike. There is also no time for a mover of fresh foods to be lost in a city with hot temperatures like Pretoria, for example, even if the truck is refrigerated.

Transport Companies in South Africa and Job Creation

The insurance industry also requires specialists to deal professionally with each of these widely differing sectors. If incorrectly quoted or handled, one large claim could mean the difference between survival or not for an insurer.

Besides transport companies being labour intensive themselves, their very existence can be said to directly or indirectly affect the creation of employment in their own and other industries. If the business is of a size that warrants it, they are likely to employ a fleet manager and his staff.

Many large transport owners have their own workshops and maintenance premises in place. Not only do they have to equip these mechanical facilities, but also have qualified staff to man them. These companies are big buyers of spare parts and consumables such as tyres.

Such large businesses also require mechanical staff to be on stand-by shifts, because any breakdown of any of their vehicles would require immediate attention. Customers are usually given an indication of the expected time of arrival of their goods, and expect their service suppliers to comply with schedules, no matter what.

Virtually all transport companies advertise their services via some form of media, and brand their vehicles. A very large company's advertising and marketing needs may warrant having its own marketing department, and/or some of these services are subcontracted to specialists in each field.

Truck body builders and canopy manufacturers and fitters have positive business spin-offs from the moving industry. Special vehicles fitted with air suspension may be required to relocate sensitive electronic equipment.

Storage facilities need to be built to standards that provide maximum security and safety. Security staff are employed to further secure customers' goods while stored.

Packing materials, such as crates, boxes, plastic, blankets, and sponges bought regularly and in bulk, support the industries which manufacture these. Tarpaulins and heavy duty rope and fasteners are frequently used by hauliers to protect their loads which have to travel on open trucks.

As indicated, the operation of transport companies in South Africa is a huge industry, sustaining many workers providing essential services to households, businesses, and virtually anyone who needs to move a load to another location. Choose your mover well.

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