Moving the industry forward
The transport of round logs to the primary processing plants constitutes between 30% and 50% of the total cost to deliver timber to a processing plant (including planting, harvesting and loading). It is therefore important that all facets of the Sector that have an influence on cost and productivity be carefully scrutinised and considered.
The FSA Transport Committee deals with Road and Rail Transport, as well as the export of forest products via Ports.
- Reduce cost and improve efficiency through the development of innovative transport systems.
- Engage with Government when they review the system of Diesel Rebates. Diesel make up no less than 28.3% of the Industry’s total production costs. Of this amount, 64.4% is used in on-site production operations whereas 35.6% is used for the transportation of timber to processing plants. The rebate therefore plays a critical role to remain competitive.
- Improve road safety through initiatives such as the Road Transport Management System (RTMS) and Performance Based Standards (PBS).
- Implementation of theft reduction measures. Companies reported the value of timber stolen in one year in excess of R16m, but the problem is suspected to be much bigger than this.
- Ensure industry’s needs are met in terms of service delivery on the part of Transnet Freight Rail (TFR)
- Rail transport is in general much cheaper than road transport, and as a result the industry would like to increase the volume of timber moved by rail. A move from road to rail would also alleviate congestion on the road infrastructure.
- Reduce costs where possible
- Promoting the efficiency of ports, where timber products such as round logs and chips are exported
- Reduce costs through improved port operations.
The FSA Transport Committee hold regular meetings, chaired by FSA, and is comprised of representatives (usually Logistics Managers) from the major forestry companies in the Industry. Meetings are held with transport partners to discuss issues of importance or concern, with submissions compiled and presented to the relevant authorities.
Since its establishment, the FSA Transport Committee helped bring about a reduction in the cost and improvement in productivity across all spheres of transport, at the same time improving safety.