Need for financial empowerment in SME logistics
The training which took place earlier this year included a wide range of relevant topics such as Entrepreneurship, Road Transport and Freight Forwarding, Insurance and financial management.
The transport operators attended training sessions on Accounting and Costing, Fuel Management, Defensive Driving, Safety and Fire Fighting, Packaging, Warehousing as well as lessons on how to deal with customs-related matters and bonded cargo.
Managing Director of BJ Groeneweld Trucking, Mr Benjamin Groeneweld said the training has changed the way he runs his business now. “My filing system and records are now better filed and well kept in a filing cupboard.
Our drivers are now well-equipped with defensive driving skills to avoid possible hazards on the road while being considerate to other road users.
We also learnt when and how bonds are to be taken out to secure the business interests of the clients as well as a lot more on the legal requirements of customs clearance and duties of the drivers to keep documents safe at all times and to understand the border documents”.
Groeneweld was part of a group of six delegates that travelled to Finland on a study tour focusing on logistics where he met the Chief Executive Officer of DB Shenker Group Logistics of Finland. Groeneweld hopes to foster a partnership with the logistics giant here in Namibia and has already communicated with the Shenker Group in Namibia.
He gave an overview of some of the challenges faced by the SME sector and the Namibia Transporters Association (NATA).
“Some of the greatest concerns we face as the SME sector including us as NATA, are the unequal distribution of work in the transport industry, the lack of financial support to grow our current capacity and the limitations on small transport operators to accommodate the large work both nationally and on the international front.
Banks require collateral which is too much for us and this keeps us out of their offices yet they claim it is their mandate to develop us SMEs. Another thing is that most mines and major firms keep doing business with larger establishments and growing these companies only”, he concluded.
Also speaking at the event, Chief Executive Officer of the Walvis Bay Corridor Group Johnny Smith urged other SMEs in the transport and logistics sector to be part of the training.
“Let’s take the economy through the transport sector to another level” he said.