While Bridgewater Logistics is associated with many large companies and corporates, a large part of its client base also comprises small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that want to achieve the shortest possible cycle times and constantly develop and improve their supply chains.
“I am proud to say that Bridgewater Logistics has become part of their business plans, considering the extent of transport and logistics services that we are supplying this segment of the South African economy. This spans distribution and line haul operations, warehousing and cross-docking through to consulting and project-management,” Quinton de Villiers, the company’s managing director, says.
Moreover, De Villiers says that many SMEs are looking for a reputable third-party logistics service provider that is able to provide a cost-effective solution without compromising quality.
Some have even burnt their hands by using the services of fly-by-night road haulers, and turned to Bridgewater Logistics for assistance.
As growing companies, they may not be as resilient as their larger counterparts in navigating the many potential pitfalls in the local transport and logistics arena. These include limitations in infrastructure, such as roads, customs processes, sea and airports that are compounded by high logistics costs, not least of which are volatile fuel prices and additional toll-road expenses.
He notes that SMEs make a significant contribution to the South African economy, constituting up to 90% of formal businesses, providing employment to about 60% of the labour force and contributing roughly 34% of GDP.
“Sadly, very little is being done at a national government level to help develop these companies. In addition to the many transport and logistics challenges they face, they are subject to the same labour legislation and minimum wages as big business. Moreover, they are charged similar high charges from state-owned enterprises for essential utility services, while operating in the same tax environment and licensing requirements. It is, therefore, encouraging knowing that we bringing a measure relief to a vital component of their business operations – namely transport logistics and supply-chain management,” De Villiers concludes.