Message from the CEO

Message from the CEO

December 18, 2017

Our Vision “To be the preferred integrated logistics service provider to blue chip customers, along specific import / export corridors, ensuring delivery of diversified cargo from inland to final destination (including facilitation on to international markets.”

 Message for Bongiwe Ntuli, CEO Grindrod Freight Services

I was privileged to meet with many of our Freight Services colleagues at several of our facilities around South Africa and in Mozambique during my roadshows in September and October. I am grateful for your generous hospitality and energized by your eagerness to be a part of our exciting journey. I have no doubt, with such committed teams as yourselves, we will achieve our 2020 vision.

I’d like to reiterate some of the key points that the executive team are focused on delivering, as our targets will only be achieved if we all work towards these common goals. We have strategically positioned infrastructure, skilled and passionate people, good client relationships and a willingness to succeed. These are key ingredients that will drive the aggressive organic growth and the well-considered acquisitive growth necessary to create scale and achieve acceptable returns for our shareholders. As we’ve seen in recent years, our business is very dependent on commodity markets, specifically coal and iron-ore. It is therefore imperative for us to continually seek ways to diversify our revenue and profit streams but whilst always “sticking to our knitting”.    

To achieve our vision of being the preferred integrated logistics service provider, we have to be customer-centric, we have to work with our colleagues in sister companies to provide the best integrated solutions for our customers, we have to develop our people, encourage open and honest engagement, live our values,  be accountable, respect one another, be innovative and agile.

We have a strong and empowered leadership team that will be focused on creating a high performance culture and solution driven growth. Ocean Africa Container Lines and Sturrock Grindrod Maritime joined the Freight Services team earlier this year and both Sims and Andrew bring invaluable leadership skills to the executive team. Recently we welcomed Francois van Rensburg (Business Development) and Vishal Deeplaul (CEO, Terminals) to Grindrod who also bring a wealth of experience from outside Grindrod.     

In the last Making Waves, we reported that we were nearing the completion of the works at Terminal de Carvão da Matola (TCM). This included deepening of the berth pocket to -15.4 metres below Chart Datum to accommodate fully-laden Panamax vessels, refurbishment work and the installation of a new fender support structure and fender system extending the quay by an 8.5 metre offset. Furthermore, the larger TCM ship loader has been modified, with the boom extended to load at this offset. This was completed on 4 July 2017 and we have since received 22 Panamax vessels, the biggest being  96 323 tonnes.   TCM is on course to finish the year with an annual throughput of over 5 million tonnes, on the back of improved demand and fantastic support from Transnet. This is potentially a 40% improvement on the throughput achieved in 2016.  

We have also enjoyed great support from Transnet Freight Rail on the Richards Bay corridor, and I am very pleased to report the massive improvement in rail performance to our Richards Bay Terminal (RBTG). In September, 163 000 tonnes was railed and in October a further 172 000 tonnes was railed. This is versus 86 000 tonnes in September last year and 160 000 tonnes in October last year.

Lastly, congratulations to all our commercial teams that have secured us new contracts from VW, Puma, SASOL and Desert Lion Energy, to name a few. This is a fine example of how excellent customer service pays off. Well done to Dave Roberts, Sean Rowan, Danie Parsons and their support teams.

To all of you, my colleagues at Grindrod, I wish you a very joyous festive season. If you are going on holiday, be safe on the roads and have a well-deserved rest. I look forward to a new and promising 2018.