Image source: CCBSA

In the spirit of South Africa’s October Transport Month, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa is working hand-in-hand with provincial and the national government to prioritise road safety for their smart logistics.

The five-year pilot Smart Truck Project was initiated to invest in road safety initiatives and reduce carbon emissions. The project began in 2019 to run a 44-pallet Performance-Based Standard (PBS) trailer between Bloemfontein and Upington. The PBS trailer is 27.9 metres long and can transport 44 pallets, compared to the conventional 30-pallet trailer.

“We are a major road user and to support our country’s efforts to road safety, we have integrated training in all our business operations to ensure we entrench a responsible mindset amongst our drivers and operators. This informs how we conduct ourselves on the road and we continuously put safety first, at all times,” said Ndanganeni Adjei, CCBSA Logistics Manager.

The Smart Truck Project is meant to redesign PBS trailers to minimise damage, improve safety and to reduce congestion on the roads. This approach uses performance-based standards, which specify the performance required of a heavy vehicle on particular routes, bearing in mind both safety and the nature of the road infrastructure itself.

“As a business, our primary aim is to support our route to market strategy and ensure exceptional customer service, while paying due regard to road safety,” said Adjei.

Arrive Alive Campaign

Through the Arrive Alive campaign, CCBSA’s partnership with the National Department of Transport has led to a launch of a state-of-the-art simulator truck meant to improve the competency levels of truck and bus drivers, as well as other public transport drivers.

“But we also have a responsibility to create shared value for the business and the communities we serve across the value-chain through opportunities we create as we grow our business. Opportunity is more than just money, it’s about a better future for people and communities everywhere in SA,” said Adjei.

Another project in the pipelines for CCBSA is the Owner Driver Scheme which has become an integral part of the business. This project uplifts disadvantaged groups by giving them an opportunity to be part of the supply chain for big industrial operations.

“This programme has enabled us to support the growth of operators who own their businesses and to support South Africa’s development mandate, where we provide previously disadvantage groups the economic opportunity to be part of the supply chain of a major industrial operation,” added Adjei.

Part of CCBSA’s efforts to take the company’s products closer to their customers, includes the Local Distribution Partners (LDP) programme which allows the company to reach its customers in townships and rural areas.

Moving the country forward through smart logistics

“Our efforts and innovations are driven by a recognition that for as long as we have our fleet of trucks moving across the country, we carry a joint duty and responsibility to support the government in managing road congestion,” said Adjei.

Working closely with the LDPs, CCBSA has ensured smoother delivery and enhanced customer service, and has also created much needed opportunities for entrepreneurs. “Ninety percent of LDPs are from previously disadvantaged groups. Not only do LDPs create work opportunities for themselves, they employ drivers, crew, and warehouse staff from local communities. In a country like ours, every opportunity for job creation should be nurtured”, noted Adjei.

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