Logistics and supply chain group Imperial Logistics has extended its African footprint into northern Zambia, with the establishment of a transport depot in Ndola, in the Copperbelt province.
The new Zambian registered business forms part of group company Snyman Transport, and will operate as Snyman Transport Zambia.
Dougie Truter, CEO of Imperial Logistics’ Africa division, says the new venture will enhance the group’s ability to provide transport and logistics services to the mining firms operating in the region, while also creating employment opportunities for locals.
The new depot represents Imperial Logistics’ first undertaking in the Zambian Copperbelt, which encompasses the towns of Kitwe, Chingola and Ndola.
“Imperial has always been a significant player in cross-border transport between Zambia and the ports of Durban and Walvis Bay, but, for the first time, we have an opportunity to develop a presence in the local transport business on the Zambian Copperbelt,” says Truter.
“Opportunities abound in local transport and logistics – transporting cargo within a 500 km radius from the various mines, and also within the mine premises,” he notes.
Job creation is an integral part of the new business, and is in line with the Zambian government’s drive to boost employment through mining investment, and to empower local companies. The country has a 14% unemployment rate.
Snyman Transport Zambia will initially have 15 dedicated vehicles, and a full time staff complement of between 25 and 35 people, explains Truter.
In addition to opening up new opportunities, the Zambian business will also enable Imperial to offer its existing customers in the region a better service, with improved turnaround times and reduced logistics costs, he adds.
“We have learnt that it is important to be closer to your customers in order to build relationships, and with this new operation, we will be right where our Copperbelt customers need us, in order to help them build more effective and efficient supply chains.
“A spin-off from the venture is that it will open up doors to corridors that Imperial has not previously played in before – specifically the Dar es Salaam and Beira corridors.”