South Africa: Gateway to emerging markets in sub-Saharan Africa

In its own warehouse in Johannesburg, a. hartrodt increasingly handles intra-African business.

"The intra-African business is very important for us and now accounts for 15 percent of sales," Grant Barnard, Managing Director at a. hartrodt South Africa with offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town, points to a trend. He anticipates further growth: "South Africa is the gateway to sub-Saharan Africa." For this region, a. hartrodt South Africa offers comprehensive freight forwarding and additional services with its own 700-square-meter bonded warehouse in Johannesburg. The manager gives an example: "We transported 60 tons of soybeans from East Africa to our warehouse, unpacked the container there and distributed the goods".

Realigned freight forwarding organisation

Grant Barnard works at a. hartrodt South Africa for 14 years, and since March 2020 heads the national company with 36 employees. Due to the pandemic, South Africa's gross domestic product shrank by 6.4 percent in 2020, whereupon Grant Barnard realigned the freight forwarding organisation. Most importantly: "We invested in additional talent and hired five new sales people."

"Reliable, regular services at competitive prices"

In the Cape Town ocean freight office, the focus is on Food & Beverage: "We do a lot of buyer's consolidation in wine exports." Overall, however, Grant Barnard says the South African business is 90 percent import-driven. Growth sectors are primarily medical technology, project logistics and food & beverage, according to him. For example, medical equipment is flown with weekly consolidation ex Frankfurt from Germany to Johannesburg. There, the air freight office takes care of everything – from customs clearance and calibration to national or cross-border delivery: "Our customers get reliable, regular services including storage space at competitive prices."

"We also want to grow in the renewable energy sector," Grant Barnard emphasizes. South Africa's government has been promoting this industry since 2011 and initiated a long-term Just Energy Transition Partnership with Europe and the USA at the 2021 World Climate Conference.