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Partnerships are key to road and rail success

Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) recognises the increasingly critical need for a predictable rail service that will support and enhance its drive to build successful partnerships with industry and third-party logistics service providers (3PLs).

This was the message from Transnet’s chief customer officer Mike Fanucchi in a presentation at the 2018 SAPICS Conference.

He acknowledged that trust and predictability were the big issues to be overcome but stressed that TFR had prioritised collaboration and partnerships with 3PLs in order to drive supply chain costs down and enable economic growth.

Fanucchi said that his goal was driving road to rail at the state-owned company and noted that while there was work to be done, there was also much to be positive about.

He reported that in the last year, TFR had succeeded in taking 147 071 trips off the road, over a distance of 176 million kilometres. The benefits, he said, included lower costs and reduced carbon emissions. “We went just beyond the sun by rail,” he quipped, and stressed that the objective for next year was to go to the sun and back.

Exploring partnerships

Fanucchi said that TFR’s model to increase container volumes would be through partnerships with 3PLS. He cited several TFR projects that illustrated collaboration, partnering and capacity creation at work.

These include the Maputo Corridor supply chain solution, projects to bridge the capacity for manganese offloading at the Port of Saldanha and a logistics solution for finished steel products on rail.

Future plans for TFR

To build on successes, grow business opportunities and encourage private sector participation, TFR has actively refreshed its approach, Fanucchi revealed.

“Running parcels by rail, like UPS, Amazon and JB Hunt do in the USA, is being explored,” he told delegates at the conference. “An increased focus on customer centricity forms part of this undertaking.

“Customers have been placed at the centre of our business, and Transnet is moving from the disconnected customer relationship management practices of the past to a seamless process in which one key account manager provides the link between the customer and multiple Transnet business functions.”

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