Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Truck Strike Ends As Freight Groups Unite In New Logistics Venture

Settlement with Drivers Should Bring Reconciliation - but with Concerns
Shipping News Feature

SOUTH AFRICA – After a bloody week which saw petrol bombs seriously injure two and at least fourteen more non striking freight truck drivers were hospitalised, agreement was finally reached yesterday between haulage unions and employers as we had predicted. As services return to normal two major logistics groups have united in the country in a quest for more business.

The strike saw petrol stations run dry and other essential supplies running perilously short when the four unions, representing a total of around 65,000 truckers, involved agreed in principal to accept an across the board wage increase of 9% this year and 8.5% for 2012. The deal, although welcomed by many, has sounded a note of alarm in some government circles as it exceeds the current rate of inflation of around 3.7%, just as several such negotiations with major groups have in the past 18 months.

In other South African shipping news freight forwarder Dachser has set up a joint venture with Jonen Freight which will employ 133 staff to offer logistics services in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Dachser have the majority share in the venture with South African run Jonen Freight Pty Ltd which has traded in the market since 1979.

The deal enables Jonen to access Dachser’s intercontinental network and whilst the German group, who handled almost 30 million tonnes of cargo in 2009, can expand their air and ocean freight distribution activities in the region.