40 Tonnes of freight jets off without a hitch
June 2017

Robotic assembly-line components manufactured in Port Elizabeth were road freighted to Oliver Tambo airport in Johannesburg where they were loaded onto a chartered flight and delivered to a motor assembly plant in Mexico. Turners Shipping managed the time sensitive delivery of the 48 crates on behalf of BDP-USA.

"The challenge was coordinating the delivery of the freight to Johannesburg to coincide with the arrival of the chartered flight from Germany.

We were aiming for a 24-hour turnaround time, which we achieved," says Treven Govender, Air Freight Manager at Turners Shipping. "We are ready for the second consignment later this quarter."

Essential industry skills development
March 2017

"Training and skills development are crucial components of the South African business landscape and are fast becoming a necessary part of every business," says René Naidoo the newly appointed Training Coordinator at the Turners Training Academy.

The Academy was established last year focusing on training members of staff at Turners Shipping. So far over a hundred and fifty members of staff have attended courses in Customs Procedure, Communication Skills, Inco-Terms, Customer Relations and Operations Systems.

"We have the support of the Transport Education and Training Authority (TETA) which has registered our training materials and provides an external examiner to moderate our test results."

René joins Turners with vast experience in business training. She spent some time coordinating training for Chartered Accountants on a national level, and has worked as a freelance skills development facilitator and is accredited by the Education SETA.

"The next phase for the Turners Training Academy will be to provide training beyond our own staff. With our courses well established, we want to offer them to Turners Shipping’s customers’ employees."

As the Academy is registered with the TETA there is financial assistance available to employees within the industry for skills development. "This is a benefit our clients should embrace," says René.

In the first half of this year the Academy will offer six courses in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town, and training materials for advanced modules are being developed.

"We hope that the Academy will contribute to the development of the Shipping Industry in South Africa by providing much needed training to people wanting to build a career in this dynamic industry."

Reason to celebrate
July 2016

This year, Turners Shipping celebrates its 120th year in business and at the same time another significant milestone has been reached as the annual turnover exceeded the R5.8 Billion mark for the first time.

Group CEO, Conrad Cochrane-Murray, says the growth in the business is the result of strategic planning, being part of the global network, indispensable contribution from management and staff and ongoing support from our loyal customer base. "We are in the Logistics industry and both stand or fall by their customers’ satisfaction with the service provided."

Turners Shipping is currently the biggest privately owned Clearing and Forwarding Company by turnover in South Africa employing over 200 people. Employees recognise that our customers’ success often relies on us doing our job. This is backed up by a superb staff and management team. Maintaining established business relationships and attracting new business has enabled us to ‘buck the trend’ in tough economic times, and to record steady growth.

The company recently spent R15 million converting a warehouse behind their Head Office building, on Durban’s esplanade, providing an additional 1200 square metres of much needed office space.

At a time when the trend is to move out of city centres Cochrane-Murray is satisfied that the decision to invest in the building, which looks onto the city’s busy port, is well founded. "Although we have diversified, the core of our business remains shipping and we consider the link to the harbour to be important."

One of Turners Shipping’s strategies that has paid dividends is the emphasis on forming partnerships with international networks giving the privately owned business a global reach.

Turners Shipping is the South African partner of BDP International’s network which operates in 130 countries, and has more than 1000 offices across the world. "This gives us direct access to every major market in the world, and we in turn offer expertise on the African continent."

Turners Shipping was started by David Turner, a young Scotsman, who settled in Durban and established his clearing and forwarding business in 1896. His business thrived, and in 1901 he invited John Cochrane-Murray, who had a background in banking, to join him as a full partner on a salary of £18 a year.

Deciding to visit their ancestral home, the Turner family boarded the new luxurious passenger liner the Waratah. What happened next is one of the most tragic mysteries of South Africa's maritime history.

The ship, with 221 passengers and crew, left Durban on July 26, 1909 but never reached Cape Town. No sign of the ship or its passengers was ever found. David Turner, his wife, and their five children were among those who died at sea. John Cochrane-Murray had lost his business partner and decided to keep the business going, retaining the Turner name in memory of his friend.

In recent years the Turners Shipping has invested heavily in information technology and training. These have been necessary, says Cochrane-Murray, as being able to provide and maintain service excellence at increased volumes is paramount. "IT is driving our industry. Logistics management systems are being integrated with customers’ and manufacturers’ systems."

Trade Finance
July 2016

Logistics and finance solution for local business.

Turners Trade Finance is the latest addition to the growing range of services offered by Turners Shipping.

Speaking at the launch of the new venture, Financial Director, Ian Losinsky said that while the business landscape for importers has changed drastically in recent years, financing models have remained the same, placing pressure on business’ working capital.

"Our Trade Finance product is a short term credit facility designed to assist importers to source goods at a preferential rate, clear it through customs and deliver it to market with efficient logistics, all on a single Rand-based invoice," he explained. "In effect, are providing clients a complete logistics and finance solution."

While this type of product is not entirely new in the market, Turners Trade Finance is the first to be offered by a privately owned logistics management company. "Shipping is our Company’s primary function, and that is where we will bring value to this product. Our expertise in international freight and logistics, and our network of suppliers enables us to ensure shipment and delivery of the purchased goods without unnecessary delays."

Offering up to 120 days credit, the Trade Finance Facility, allows importers to buy, ship and sell the goods into the market before they have to be paid for. "At best importers are able to secure 30 days credit from suppliers which means valuable working capital is tied up in stock which may not reach the point of sale for some time."

Losinsky went on to say that purchasing products overseas and importing, is becoming a specialist activity which is best left to the experts. "Our established systems offer full real-time reporting along the entire supply chain, providing clients with total visibility on all import shipments from the time of order placement through to final delivery."

"Using a service like this will negate the need for companies to employ additional staff to coordinate and manage this aspect of their business. It will help reduce their overheads and enable them to grow the core area of their business."

Proud Level 2 Contributor
June 2016

Turners Shipping is proud to announce that in this year’s review of its Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment practices the Company has maintained its Level 2 Contributor status.

Making the announcement Blain Kondiah, Managing Director of Turners Shipping said the Company is committed to the spirit of transformation and ultimately the empowerment of all its stakeholders. "As a company, we have dedicated ourselves to actively promote transformation and to contribute to the establishment of an equitable society."

"This is quite an achievement making us one of only a handful of companies in our sector to achieve this level. We consider Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) as an integral part of the growth and development of our company,"

"Two years ago we appointed a team of senior and middle management personnel to oversee our B-BBEEE practices and to ensure they are implemented and to identify areas where improvements can be made."

Businesses are audited in seven key categories; Ownership Equity, Management Control, Employment Equity, Skills Development, Preferential Procurement, Enterprise Development and Socio-Economic Development.

Turners Shipping scored maximum points in Preferential Procurement and Enterprise Development, while its Ownership Equity also increased.

Kondiah explained that the policies and practices put in place to achieve this B-BBEE accreditation will also assist the company’s customers: "As we are an accredited Value Added Enterprise, our Clients are able to claim 152.5% of their business with Turners Shipping to assist with their own BEE procurement score card."

"The procurement and development practices are barometers of how our Company operates within the business landscape," says Kondiah, "so when it comes to appointing service providers and sub-contractors we endeavour to support black-owned enterprises."

Proud Level 2 Contributor
June 2015

Turners Shipping is proud to announce that in this year’s review of its Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment practices the Company has been awarded Level 2 Contributor status.

"Moving from level three to level two is quite an achievement making us one of only a handful of companies in our sector to achieve this level," says Blain Kondiah, Managing Director of Turners Shipping.

"We appointed a team of senior and middle management personnel to oversee our B-BBEEE practices and to ensure they are implemented and to identify areas where improvements can be made."

Businesses are audited in seven key categories; Ownership Equity, Management Control, Employment Equity, Skills Development, Preferential Procurement, Enterprise Development and Socio-Economic Development.

Turners Shipping scored maximum points in Preferential Procurement and Enterprise Development while its Ownership Equity also increased.

"The procurement and development practices are barometers of how our Company operates within the business landscape," says Youvane Moodley, Key Account Manager at Turners Shipping.

"So when it comes to appointing service providers and sub-contractors we endeavour to support black-owned enterprises."

The elevated status also benefits the Company’s clients as Level Two comes with a Procurement Recognition of 125%: "This is an important concession when our customers come to calculate their own procurement scores.

In addition to this we are a Value Added Enterprise which means an additional 27.5%, so our overall procurement recognition level is 152.5%.

Far East Trip
April 2015

Asia remains one of our most active trading regions and Blain Kondiah, Managing Director of Turners Shipping recently visited Hong Kong, Japan and mainland China where he spent some time at the BDP office in Shanghai.

With him are, from left, Jenny Zhu, Ocean freight Manager BDP Shanghai, Amanda Qiu, Senior ocean freight manager BDP Shanghai, Dennis Wan, Airfreight Manager BDP Shanghai, Dick Yip, General Manager BDP Shanghai and Vincent Kwan, Sales Manager, BDP Asia Pacific Ltd.

Much needed help for the Sizakancane Crèche
November 2014

A group of fourteen dedicated Turners Shipping staff members have been working hard to help establish an infrastructure at the Sizakancane Crèche outside Hillcrest.

On their last visit they erected a shade-cloth tunnel which will help protect the vegetable garden. Over the past few months they have cleared the ground, prepared the soil, and now that the tunnel is complete, the seedlings can be planted.

Prior to that the team delivered and set up shelves for the young learners and are currently fixing the plumbing and leaking taps.

The project is part of the Company’s Social Responsibility Programme and the long-term goal is to establish an infrastructure and facilities that will enable the crèche to qualify for a social grant.

Cutting the cost of costly containers
August 2014

"It is a well known fact that a significant portion of the price of goods, particularly fast-moving consumer goods, can be attributed to the cost of the transport in getting products to their point of sale," says Sagie Govender, Import Manager at Turners Shipping.

"There are also some cost saving practices which, although are known to people in the logistics business, are not used as often as they could be." One such option is to convert freight to break-bulk and transport it on the more efficient tautliner.

Up to 70% of freight in South Africa is being transported by road and most of the imported goods are transported in the containers in which they arrived. Govender says that while containers are an efficient mode of transport for sea freight, "it is a different story when the goods arrive and have to be transported by road."

Generally trucks can only carry one 40 foot and one 20 foot container, or three 20 foot containers; around 34 tons per load. By unpacking the freight, the same size truck can carry the equivalent of three containers of break bulk. "In this way the customer saves on the cost of returning the empty containers to the yard and is moving more freight per trip. Using this system savings can be as much as 25%."

Generally trucks can only carry two containers but by unpacking the freight the same size truck can carry the equivalent of three containers of break bulk. "In this way the customer saves on the cost of returning the empty containers to the yard and is moving more freight per trip. Using this system savings can be as much as 25%."

"We have been offering this option to some of our customers and the response has been very positive. By transferring the freight to a tautliner off-loading at the destination is easier and more efficient. The truck can be off loaded from both sides and, unlike a container delivery, there is no need for there to be a ramp at the destination," explains Sylvester Moodley, Turners Shipping’s Transport Manager. "There is no time spent repositioning containers either, " he adds.

"It is up to the logistics managers like us to find innovative ways of cutting costs and becoming more efficient. As the cost of imported diesel rises and pressure on the road network increases I suspect more customers will look at options like this. Getting deliveries in a container has become a habit, but one that circumstances might force use to change."

A double celebration
July 2014

In July Turners Shipping celebrated its 118th year in business and at the same time another significant milestone as the Turner Group’s annual turnover has exceeded the R3 Billion mark for the first time.

Group CEO, Conrad Cochrane-Murray, says the growth in the business is the result of strategic planning, being part of the global network, and customer service. "We are in the logistics and travel industries and both stand or fall by their customers’ satisfaction with the service provided."

"We are fortunate that our team of over 200 employees recognise that our customers’ success often relies on us doing our job. Maintaining established business relationships and attracting new business has enabled us to ‘buck the trend’ in tough economic times, and to record steady growth."

The company recently spent R15 million converting a warehouse behind their head office building, on Durban’s esplanade, providing an additional 1200 square metres of much needed office space.

At a time when the trend is to move out of city centres Cochrane-Murray is satisfied that the decision to invest in the building, which looks onto the city’s busy port, is well founded. "Although we have diversified, the core of our business remains shipping and we consider the link to the harbour to be important."

One of the Group’s strategies that has paid dividends is the emphasis on forming partnerships with international networks giving the privately owned business a global reach.

Turners Shipping is the South African partner of BDP International’s network which operates in 130 countries, and has more than 1000 offices across the world. "This gives us direct access to every major market in the world, and we in turn offer expertise on the African continent."

Turners Shipping was started by David Turner, a young Scotsman, who settled in Durban and established his clearing and forwarding business in 1896. His business thrived, and in 1901 he invited John Cochrane-Murray, who had a background in banking, to join him as a full partner on a salary of £18 a year.

Deciding to visit their ancestral home, the Turner family boarded the new luxurious passenger liner the Waratah. What happened next is one of the most tragic mysteries of South Africa's maritime history.

The ship, with 221 passengers and crew, left Durban on July 26, 1909 but never reached Cape Town. No sign of the ship or its passengers was ever found. Turner, his wife, and their five children were among those who died at sea. Cochrane-Murray had lost his business partner and decided to keep the business going, retaining the Turner name in memory of his friend.

In recent years the Turner Group has invested heavily in information technology. This has been necessary, says Cochrane-Murray, as international digital systems become more sophisticated and integrated. "IT is driving our industry. Logistics management systems are being integrated with customers’ and manufacturers’ systems."

Targeting Trade in India
June 2014

"As world trade patterns change, logistics management companies have to adapt, developing new routes and establishing partnerships with suppliers and carriers as markets expand," says Blain Kondiah, managing director of Turners Shipping.

One of the markets that is becoming increasingly important to South Africa is India. Since establishing bilateral relations in 1993, trade between India and South Africa has grown steadily and consistently. For the past few years India has been one of our top ten trading partners and is now our fifth-largest export destination and sixth-largest source of imports.

Over the past four years the US-based BDP International has been developing a strong presence in the Indian sub-continent forming a logistics joint venture with the India-based Unique Global Logistics.

"The subsidiary company, BDP Global Logistics (India), is headquartered in Mumbai with a presence in all major cities in India which is a boon for us", says Kondiah. "Turners Shipping is BDP International's partner in southern Africa which enables us to offer services to our clients with the knowledge that there is reliable expertise on the other side."

"We have seen a significant growth in business on the South Africa - India route with an increasing number of our clients doing business in the sub-continent. As more manufacturers and retailers establish their operations in India, we at Turners Shipping see an opportunity to contribute to the growing need for specialised logistics services."

Kondiah says that the main focus of their business is to target India's expanding chemicals, life-sciences, healthcare, retail, telecom and manufacturing industries.

Local Logistics companies play a part in development
May 2014

Logistics companies play an important role in the broad economic development of a region and even the country as a whole. This is according to Blain Kondiah, managing director of Turners Shipping who goes on to say that maintaining an efficient supply-chain is will also attract new business and promote growth.

Kwazulu-Natal is an important hub of industrial development in sub-Saharan Africa, and has two of the busiest ports in Africa and the Southern Hemisphere. The bulk of South Africa's imports and exports pass through Durban and Richards Bay, in addition to a significant amount of freight destined for neighbouring countries and the SADEC region in general.

"Our infrastructure ensures this region remains a major contributor to the country's economy. Currently KZN is a major player in the manufacturing industries of motor vehicles, pulp and paper products, chemicals and petrochemicals, textiles and clothing, and food and beverages. All of which rely heavily on efficient logistics management."

He says there are other essential services which, while not high profile, are crucial nonetheless. One such service is the supply of ships' spares. "Like any working machine, ships do have breakdowns but unlike others these can be very costly, especially if the vessel is delayed or has to be in port for extended periods."

Turners Shipping counts the supply of ships' spares as one of its specialities. Goods can be anything from a new propeller to a bundle of mail for the crew. Most commonly it is engine parts which are needed for repairs, radar and electronic equipment. "We have to facilitate the import of the freight, store it in our bonded warehouse and then get it to the ship when it is in port," explains Kondiah.

Much of the work is done before the goods arrive, ""Our experienced staff have to ensure that all of the necessary documentation is in order before the ship arrives. The Port operates on a 7-day, 24-hour basis but the Customs offices don't, so we have to anticipate and plan for ships that might arrive over weekends or over-night.""

Two memorable projects are the occasion they had to supply a drive shaft for a container ship which ran into trouble in our waters and when Turners Shipping staff worked around the clock to guarantee the timeous delivery of 80 tonnes of supplies for a research ship passing Durban on its way to India.

"We are able to provide a full logistics service on a 24/7 basis which is a vital component of our ships' spares service. Faster turn-around times can mean a massive saving for our clients."

"The recent announcement that an American company will be surveying the East Coast for undersea oil and gas gives us the opportunity to show international players that local businesses are able to provide efficient , expert services which will ensure the smooth running of their operations.""

International Exhibition Services
February 2014

There is a growing need for specialist, efficient and reliable logistics management as ever-increasing number of South African manufacturers and companies are participating in international trade exhibitions.

Getting your exhibition materials and stock to the exhibition location and then back home is not as simple as it seems, says Annette Pather, Forwarding and Groupages manager at Turners Shipping.

According to Annette, transport and logistics are usually the last thing on the mind of the people planning to participate in an international event: "They book their stand, design and manufacture their display materials, make all the other arrangements and then only consider shipping everything there. This can be a costly mistake.""

Trade Shows and Exhibitions present logistics personnel with a fixed deadline which determines the strict timelines for the project. ""Clients sometimes don't understand the complexity of the exercise," she says. "Last-minute shipments usually have to be air freighted to their destination which increases the costs drastically."

All of the display materials have to be exported to the international venue and then imported for their return to South Africa. "If there are goods that are going to be sold at the event it adds a whole new set of challenges to the management of the logistics."

"The efficient movement of the shipment relies on the efficient preparation of the documentation and the management as it passes from one agency to the other."

This service offering from Turners Shipping dove-tails with the Conferences division of XL Turners Travel which is part of the Turner Group of companies.

Turners Conferences is one of the leading conference and event management companies in South Africa regularly organizing conferences with international participants and exhibitors. The sister companies are able to provide a complete logistical and management solution for their clients and conference hosts.

Local business comes out tops
October 2013

South Africa's Turners Shipping has topped the list of partner companies in the annual BDP International review scoring in areas of volumes moved, accuracy of information, and profitability.

Making the announcement, Tim Frear, Director - BDP Global Network Services, said it was a remarkable achievement for one of the newest partners in the international network of logistics management companies. "Being rated the most active partner ahead of those in Japan, Switzerland, Sweden and Israel is an indication of Turners Shipping's role in the logistics industry in the African continent's most sophisticated economy."

"We strive to find innovative ways of remaining competitive in the ever-changing global logistics market," explains Blain Kondiah, managing director of Turners Shipping, "and forming strategic partnerships is key to our success."

Three years ago Turners Shipping joined BDP International's global network as its South African partner. "This is an important market for the logistics industry as it is the gateway to much of the sub-Saharan region and our results in the recent survey endorse this," says Kondiah.

The annual survey score card takes into account the total volume of freight moved; the accuracy of information and efficiency of service - these scores provided by customer feedback; and overall profitability.

This is a significant achievement for the Durban based company which is one of the City's oldest family owned businesses celebrating 117 years of doing business this year. From its humble beginnings Turners Shipping has grown and today enjoys global reach and an annual turnover exceeding R2.3 billion.

"The results reflect the fact that our business model and systems are efficient and that we provide the necessary levels of service to our customers. Our investment in personnel and information technology is paying dividends."

Turners Shipping is part of the Turner Group which comprises Turners Forwarding, Turners Warehousing, XL Turners Travel and Turners Conferencing. "We recently expanded our warehousing offering by adding 35 000 square metres of fully integrated bonded and general storage and distribution on a national basis," says Kondiah. "We strive to offer our clients a 'full package' of services while maintaining our quality of service."

Hong Kong office grows business
September 2013

At a time when businesses in the logistics industry were cutting back, Turners Shipping chose to expand its operations into overseas markets - one of these was the Far East. At the beginning of 2012 Vincent Kwan was appointed Route Development Manager in the Far East, based in Hong Kong he is responsible for the southern areas of China as well as the Asia Pacific region.

On his recent visit to South Africa Kwan took the opportunity to meet with suppliers and customers: "Every one assumes that local trade with China is only on the import side, but South Africa has a growing export market in China." Like many the Chinese have developed a taste for South African wines which now constitute a substantial percentage of our exports.

Blain Kondiah, managing director of Turners Shipping, said having a presence in Hong Kong has been a boon for business. "Our freight figures are up by 50% over the same time last year."

"We are very pleased with the growth we have achieved. The motivation to establish a permanent presence in the Far East was because many of our clients do business in the Asian region, we wanted to improve our offering to them, and at the same time develop new business. Which we certainly have," said Kondiah.

Kwan has 22 years experience in the shipping industry and is no stranger to South Africa. As sales manager for one of Turners Shipping's affiliate companies he was responsible for promoting and developing the South Africa/China trade route.

"The supply chain from the East can be complicated at times, and we have to provide solutions that will work for our customers. One of the difficulties is the language barrier and secondly the geographical distance between South Africa and the Far East," said Kwan.

South African trade with the Far East is mainly in consumer goods, particularly electronics, textiles and chemicals. Many of these industries are very competitive and shipments are often time sensitive so establishing reliable suppliers and service providers is crucial.

"My visit to South Africa gave me the opportunity to meet with our established clients and to also explain our services to potential clients."

Further investment in the City
August 2013

The Turner Group of companies has demonstrated its commitment to the City with the announcement of a substantial renovation and expansion of its head office building, Turner House, at 37 Margaret Mncadi Avenue.

A warehouse at the back of the building will be converted into much needed office space and linked to the existing building. The R15 million renovation will provide an additional 1200 square metres of floor space to the three-story building.

At a time when the trend is to move out of the CBD Group CEO Conrad Cochrane-Murray is satisfied that the decision to invest in the building on the Esplanade is well founded.

"Although we have diversified, the core of our business remains shipping and we consider the link to the harbour to be important."

Electronic communication has negated the need for shipping businesses to be based at the Port but it is a tradition which Cochrane-Murray would like to see continue. "Coming to work and seeing the ships in the harbour reminds us what we are about."

This year marks Turners Shipping's 117th year of doing business in Durban, making it one of the oldest family owned businesses in the city, employing over 200 people.

Cochrane-Murray sees investment in the CBD essential to the future of the city of Durban: "Stakeholders have a vested interest in uplifting the areas of the City in which they operate."

Turners House is on the corner of the Esplanade and Jonsson Lane, with much of the premises being accessed from the Lane. Security within the precinct was stepped a few years ago by a joint initiative between the local businesses and the City authorities when security cameras were installed providing 24-hour monitoring by a security company. "It has made all the difference to the safety of our staff members and residents in the area."

This is not the first overhaul the former tobacco warehouse has undergone. In 2008 the building was extensively renovated to create the current suite of offices which look onto the harbour. Since then staff numbers have grown steadily and the establishment of new enterprises like XL Turners Travel and Turners Conferences has necessitated the need for further expansion.

South African Businesses May Be Missing Out
June 2013

There are several rebates available to South African manufacturers that a surprising number of businesses are not aware of. This is according to Vishnu Munien, National Customs Manager at Turners Shipping.

His comment comes on the heels of recent discussions around the anticipated extension of the AGOA trade agreement between the United States and various African countries following the visit to South Africa by US President, Barack Obama.

There are a variety of mechanisms in place that are designed to benefit manufacturers in this country, in particular those who import parts and components for products that are assembled here for local distribution or export.

An example is the rebate store which is a DTI initiative designed to reduce duties on component parts. "Products like television sets, fridges and other appliances fall into the class of goods under the legislation," explains Munien.

Smaller manufacturers may be unaware of the rebates available in their sector, or are put off by the strict levels of compliance and the paperwork involved: "That is where we come in."

"Industry professionals like us know the Act and how to apply for the rebates and administer the process for our customers. There are regulations, licensing procedures and ongoing oversight that is part of the process."

Second Air Freight hub in Germany
May 2013

As a result of the growing volumes of airfreight between Germany and South Africa a second strategic collection hub has been established in the South of the European country. Traditionally Frankfurt, which is in the centre of the country, has been the collection point for Germany, but it has now been supplemented by Munich in the south.

"The advantages of this are quicker turn around times and a saving on costs," says Marlon Reddy, Airfreight Manager at Turners Shipping. "Customers usually use airfreight for high value items and when the shipment is time sensitive."

Response from customers to the new service has been positive as it reduces the use of road transport, cutting transit times and costs.

Turners Shipping is the South African partner in the global network of logistics companies established by BDP International giving their local customers access to markets in over 200 countries.

Germany is one of South Africa's biggest trading partners in Europe with a wide variety of goods moving between the two countries.

South African Airways has two flights daily between Munich and Johannesburg providing a regular flow of airfreight. "We have also negotiated preferential rates with Emirates who have the only international flights to and from King Shaka Airport in Durban," says Reddy.

Need for proactive participation.
May 2013

A trade agreement between countries who export goods to the United States was established under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is under review and it is in the interest of all exporters to participate in the process to have the agreement extended.

The current AGOA arrangement which provides duty-free access to garments manufactured in Africa expires in 2015 and an investigation is being done at present to determine whether there is good cause for its extension.

"Two of our land-locked neighbours, Lesotho and Swaziland, are beneficiaries of the AGOA agreement exporting a combined US$ 360 million of textile products to the USA, all of which comes through South Africa," says Neren Dayanand, Branch Manager of Turners Shipping, Durban. "This is a significant contributor to the freight forwarding sector."

And it is not just the export of finished goods. Lesotho and Swaziland enjoy 'Lesser Developed Country' status which allows them to manufacture apparel from fabrics supplied by countries outside of the agreement. "This means that they import textiles which, again, pass through South Africa."

South Africa is also a beneficiary of the AGOA agreement with US $ 2.6 billion of the country's total US $ 8.7 billion exports to the United States enjoying duty-free status.

Dayanand says that trade agreements such as AGOA are an important stimulus for sub- Saharan economies with direct benefits for local business. "When one considers that Lesotho workers in the garment and textile industry earn the equivalent of US$ 60 million a year, one gets a sense of the importance of there bi-lateral agreements. This money circulates through the economy supporting a range of other small businesses."

BEE Accreditation
January 2013

Turners Shipping Now A Level 3 Contributor.

Turners Shipping is committed to transformation through Black Economic Empowerment and has recently been awarded a Level 3 accreditation by AQrate Verification Services.

"We consider Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) as an integral part of the growth and development of our company," said the Human Resources Manager, Leena Ramthal.

Making the announcement, she said that Turners Shipping is committed to the spirit of transformation and ultimately the empowerment of all its stakeholders. "As a company, we have dedicated ourselves to actively promote transformation and to contribute to the establishment of an equitable society."

Ramthal explained that the policies and practices put in place to achieve this BBBEE accreditation will also assist the company's customers: "As we are an accredited Enterprise Development Beneficiary, our Clients are able to claim 137.5% of their business with Turners Shipping to assist with their BEE procurement score card."

"Transformation is a defining element of our agenda for change, we at Turners Shipping are proud of our achievement and it is our intention to maintain a competitive BEE score with full support of management, staff and stakeholders."

Slow boat from China
October 2012

Efforts by shipping companies to cut running costs are having an effect on the logistics industry and businesses are having to adapt to longer lead times for cargo arriving by sea. This could have a negative impact on inventory levels and lead to both profit and cash flow concerns.

In an effort to save fuel, which accounts for most of a vessel's operating costs, ship's captains have been making use of the practice of slow steaming. Ships which generally cruise at around 22 knots have reduced their speed and now average 18 knots on a voyage between ports in the East and South Africa.

This Appointment is part of an expansion programme that will see the Durban based company establish two offices in Europe and one in Asia this year.

While this reduction in speed can save up to 20 per cent on the fuel bill, it also means that instead of the usual two week voyage between ports, ships are now spending more time at sea delaying the delivery of freight quite substantially.

"We have had to advise our customers to change their ordering procedures to accommodate the longer lead times," says Samson Nip, Turners Shipping, Route Development Manager - Far East.

"he price of bunker fuel, has been rising steeply, and has increased by 600 per cent over the last ten years," he added.

At a time when industries are called on to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions some countries are imposing taxes on emissions, while others are putting measures in place to reduce emissions. Effective this month, ships in North American waters are required to burn low-sulphur oil, which costs 60 per cent more than regular bunker fuel. Nip says that this is bound to have an effect on the cost shipping cargo to and from North America.

If the world's shipping fleet were a country, it would be the world's sixth leading emitter of greenhouse gases. In an effort to reduce those emissions, and also to conserve expensive fossil fuels, cargo ship designers are now turning to the oldest source of power there is: the wind.

In the future we might, once again, see cargo ships sporting masts and sails. There will never be a return to sailing ships, but designers planning on using the power of the wind to supplement the ship's engine.

Several prototypes are being tested. The University of Tokyo recently unveiled a model of its UT Wind Challenger which has nine masts, each 50 metres tall, with five rigid sails made of aluminium and fibre-reinforced plastic.

Then there is the 100-metre, 3,000-tonne cargo carrier being designed by B9 Shipping, part of the B9 Energy Group in Northern Ireland. Its three 55 metre masts are as tall as a 14-story building. The ship is powered by a combination of wind and a Rolls-Royce biogas engine, which means it could operate without the use of any fossil fuels.

Wind-powered technology faces a steep development curve before the industry will be ready to embrace it. It is not practical for large vessels like container ships, which sail faster than 15 knots and need their deck space for cargo. It is however well suited for smaller, slower-moving ships, those in the 3000-to-10,000-tonne range. Such ships account for 10,000 vessels, one-fifth of the world's total cargo ships, and are an essential link in the global supply chain.

Turners Shipping Expands into Europe.
July 2012

In response to growing business needs, Turners Shipping has appointed Doug Cochrane-Murray as Route Development Manager in Germany. He will be based in Frankfurt where he will work out of the BDP International office.

"Germany is one of South Africa's biggest trading partners and business in the region is growing. We feel it is important to establish a permanent presence in Europe with specialised staff who can manage existing business, establish new relationships and grow our customer base," explains Blain Kondiah, Managing Director of Turners Shipping.

This Appointment is part of an expansion programme that will see the Durban based company establish two offices in Europe and one in Asia this year.

As the South African partner in BDP International, Turners is able to share resources in strategic areas. In February this year Turners Shipping set up a similar office in Hong Kong which covers the southern areas of China and the Asia Pacific region.

Cochrane-Murray will share his knowledge of the South African logistics industry with his German colleagues, while gaining valuable experience in the European market.

"Establishing this office in Germany gives us the ability to offers a broader range of services to our clients by developing strategic relationships with suppliers," says Kondiah. "Most of the freight out of Germany comes by air but other routes need to be explored and developed as cost effective alternatives."

Hong Kong office grows volumes
March 2012

Six months since the opening of a Hong Kong office, Turners Shipping is reaping the rewards in growing volumes, says MD Blain Kondiah.

The company opened in Hong Kong at the beginning of the year, employing dedicated staff tasked with route development between Africa and mainland China - and the investment is paying dividends, he said.

"Asia-Africa, both to and from, is a trade lane many are watching closely as an alternative to mature markets in Europe and the US," said Alex Ruf, chief transportation officer at BDP International. "While there are not yet huge volumes being moved, we believe this trade lane will be significant in the future."

As the logistics industry evolves Kondiah believes the focus is changing and that growth will come from more geographically based initiatives rather than from the traditional industry-specific efforts.

"The supply chain from China is complicated and their conservative approach to business relationships can impact on trying to win new business in that market," Kondiah said. He believes that recruiting locally - which is the route the company has taken - provides competitive advantage in what is expected to become an increasingly competitive market.

"There is a strong push to move manufacturing production inland to second-tier cities in China, which will increase demand for more sophisticated logistics services in these locations," said Kondiah, who believes the natural evolution of trade will drive international logistics service providers to these regions.

"By establishing business relationship snow we hope to take full advantage of the next phase of development in China when it comes," he said.

Need for closer inspection of transport operators.
March 2011

A recent spate of high profile accidents involving trucks and heavy vehicles has once again focussed attention on the industry which transports an estimated 23 million tonnes of freight on our Country's roads every year.

It is estimated that 75% of imports and exports for South Africa and the SADEC region pass through KwaZulu Natal making the N3 route linking Durban and Gauteng the busiest road freight route on the African continent.

"There is tight competition in the trucking industry and some companies have become profit driven, neglecting maintenance and safety considerations," said Willies Mchunu, the KwaZulu Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety & Liaison, when he spoke to members of the road transport industry at the launch of the Call To Action campaign which brings together fleet owners and transport operators and aims to address concerns and issues related to safety within the road transport industry.

"Campaigns usually focus on the drivers and truck owners, but what about the companies who employ their services," asks Conrad Cochrane-Murray, CEO of the Turners Group. "We have a duty to our clients and the public to use transport operators who conduct their business in a responsible manner, complying with legislation and maintaining high standards within the industry."

Turners Shipping introduced a transporter audit that is completed before a transport operator is used by the Company. This covers everything from ownership of the transport company, legislative compliance and accreditation, to driver training, breakdown procedures and vehicle maintenance programmes.

"Turners Shipping is a ISO 9001 Company and this audit procedure forms part of our rigorous systems control," said Cochrane-Murray. "It is an ongoing process with regular updates and checks."

Freight transport is a significant contributor to the South African economy accounting for 11% of the Gross Domestic Product and road transport is a vital link in the supply chain carrying freight inland from the ports.