Logistics Association castigates TransNamib
The Namibia Logistics Association Secretary General, Harald Schmidt said that the country is fast approaching a point where new road surfaces will have to be constructed.
This he said is due to the fact that bulk cargo is increasingly transferred from rail to road.
“The costs will be deferred to the road users via the road user charging instruments, administered and managed by the Road Fund Administration.
But every cost increase will impact adversely on the prospective Logistics Hub concept, which is a critical economic growth factor within the fourth National Development Plan (NDP-4)” he said.
This he noted will demand a huge capital injection into the rail network, involving both the revamping of the rail network and procuring locomotives and rolling stock coupled to attracting a competent and experienced management to the rail parastatal. “The Logistics Association fully supports the Logistics Hub concept and believes that it holds immeasurable potential for economic growth and development for the country.” “Our biggest challenge in realising this concept will be to confront our limitations regarding certain critical success factors. With this concept being built on service provision, we desperately require skilled and experienced human resources with a huge measure of a “customer service attitude”. Schmidt said, referring to the general decay that marks the operations of TransNamib.
The 77 member association fully supports TransNamib’s turn-around strategy.
“TransNamib’s turn-around is an essential critical success factor not only for the realisation of the Logistics Hub concept but also for prolonging the lifespan of our national road network.”
“Too much bulk freight has migrated from rail to road transport in the past years and the sooner we can reverse this trend, the better for our fast deteriorating roads” Schmidt said adding that the 180-day turn-around claim from TransNamib in finding a solution, should be taken with a pinch of salt.
The Logistics Association has created a platform, the Transport Chamber, where operators are given an opportunity to network amongst themselves, to discuss challenges and problems, embark on training courses and draw from the experience of long-established firms. Schmidt said that a natural process of integration and collaboration has evolved and must be nurtured.
The Logistics Association urged all government agencies to remove non-tariff barriers saying that obstacles like customs procedures, the harmonisation of transport legislation and the eradication of inefficiencies at border crossings, add a huge premium to transport costs. The industry representative body also expressed its grave concerns on numerous occasions with the non-availability of data pertaining to license fees, cross border charges and the mass distance charges. “No amount of effort from any Institution will lead to obtaining reliable data because the source responsible for compiling this information can not even trust their own outputs. Unless the entire population of vehicles that must be subjected to license fees, cross border charges and mass distance charges is correctly captured in the system, the data output will remain, at best, an estimate” the Secretary General said. The Logistics Association said it believes that transport is a critical economic success factor. “Logistics keep the wheels of the economy turning and the smoother they turn, the better for the economy.”