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New Safmarine 'Business Link' forum focuses on finding sustainable solutions

Shipping line Safmarine has introduced a new forum aimed at assisting its customers in finding solutions to business-critical challenges.

The focus of the first Safmarine Business Link forum, held in October 2012, was on the logistical challenges of importers in South Africa's landlocked Gauteng province, the country's economic hub and richest province.

According to Dieter Veening, Safmarine's Southern African Sales Executive: "South Africa's extensive port and freight rail infrastructure upgrades, while essential to the long-term, sustainable growth of the South African economy, have resulted in short-term logistical challenges and high costs for several Gauteng shippers who are highly reliant on an efficient and cost-effective transport network.

Dieter Veening (Safmarine), Philippe de Pinchard (Rohlig) and Dawn Lehmann (Safmarine) at the Safmarine 'Business Link' Forum

"Safmarine's aim in hosting this forum was to openly discuss and assist in identifying solutions to the port- and rail-related issues facing our customers."

Transnet executives, Wiseman Madinane, Commercial Head of Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) and John Hyde, Transnet Port Terminal's National Planning Manager, were invited to address Safmarine customers on the extensive upgrades at the Durban Container port and inland City Deep terminals and, more importantly, to share their ideas on how to limit the negative impact of these upgrades.

Veening said the new forum was proof of Safmarine's commitment to collaborate and work closely with different stakeholders in finding solutions to non-Safmarine related issues affecting its customers' business.

The need to reduce container turn-around times, for both rail and road haulage, as well as the option of discharging cargo, traditionally shipped via Durban, to other ports in order to reduce pressure on Durban, South Africa's largest and busiest port, were among the issues discussed at the October forum.

Debbie Owen
Tel: + 27 21 788 9962/3 or

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