Guest Article: Supply chain gaps intensify warehouse demand

Scarcely one year since moving into its 16,152 square metre state-of-the-art warehousing facility in Durban, Rhenus South Africa is expanding its storage space and diversifying its warehouse operations. Its Durban warehouse space has grown by a massive 53 percent in just two years. Increased demand for warehouse space, as well as more service offerings such as the addition of a Special Storage Warehouse (SOS) bond store, are driving strong growth for the global logistics provider.

Strategically and conveniently located within 21 kilometres of King Shaka International Airport and 24 kilometres from Durban Container Terminal, the warehouse includes 1,250 square metres of bulk handling area and 5,823 racked pallet positions. The facility offers a range of solutions, including bond, packing and wrapping, unpacking, cross-docking, as well as fine and batch picking. It is also graded to handle food items.

Kishore Kanayelal, Regional Director at Rhenus South Africa, says that the strong growth over the past year can be attributed to a number of factors.

COVID-19 has disrupted supply chains worldwide, with importers increasing their stock levels to ensure reliable delivery to their clients.

“The exorbitant air freight rates are also having a strong knock-on effect, with some customers opting to save on air freight rates through larger consignments, resulting in higher stock levels,” continues Kanayelal.

Kanayelal adds that another driver in the demand for warehouse space is a growing realisation that outsourcing warehousing can be a cost-effective and efficient solution to stock challenges. “Overheads, labour, security, ASIB compliance, etc. quickly add up,” states Kanayelal. “But through shared costs and our advanced warehouse management system, we are able to offer cost-effective, customised and comprehensive solutions”.

Another imminent development is the approval by SARS of a Special Storage Warehouse (SOS) bond store within the Durban facility. The SOS bond store is specifically licensed for the storage of dutiable imported goods, excise goods, including duty free goods for export (in terms of Section 21 (3) of the Customs Act), as well as imported goods for duty and tax-free outlets. The SOS bond store will bring additional benefits to Rhenus clients, including improved cash flow as a result of deferred Duty and VAT payments, as well as speed to market.

Rhenus South Africa has also seen increased demand for their unpacking and cross-docking services. Kanayelal explains that clients are increasingly looking to get their goods to market quicker, at a reduced cost. Cross-docking means less handling of goods, reduced labour costs and faster delivery times.

Irrespective of what plays out over the coming months, Rhenus is agile and able to  tailor-make a solution whether it be high value vulnerable cargo, food grade warehousing, e-commerce, or a retail solution. “The growth of our warehousing division is an indicator that our economy is starting to recover – which is good news for everyone!“ concludes Kanayelal.

This article was brought to you by Rhenus LogisticsA member of the Austrian Business Chamber.

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