Transnet & GE To Digitise African Freight
Transnet officials have announced that the rail and ports operator will be collaborating with global digital industrial giant General Electric (GE) to work towards digitising the African transport sector.
Having worked together for over a decade, the companies are now poised to develop a digital platform that will connect transport operators with shippers in a seamless fashion, which will greatly streamline the pricing, network capacity, shipment planning and goods-to-market processes.
Intracontinental trade throughout the African continent has grown almost 100% over the past 25 years, with 13 000+ containers and 620 000+ tonnes of goods moving via Transnet’s networks every single day. This trade is vital to economic development in Africa and the time has come to address the logistical and transportation issues that create a bottleneck in the supply chain funnel due to steadily increasing demand.
Once launched, the newly developed system will be underpinned by Predix, the established OS employed by General Electric’s IOT. It will work by supplying shipment status reports based on a variety of real-time data streams directly to shippers and transport operators on a single platform. By taking time-consuming processes like inspection, customs and payment into the digital sphere, it paves the way for an on-demand freight transport solution suited to current consumer needs.
Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO of GE, was quoted as saying that the industry is ripe for technological development. The company already utilises the power of data and analytics in other industries, and look forward to using it to drive transformation throughout their African operations in conjunction with Transnet. They believe it will be a big leap forward in bolstering the efficiency and productivity of the continent’s transport sector.
Siyabonga Gama, Group Chief Executive of Transnet, believes that this new partnership avenue will serve to support the National Development Plan and will be pivotal in getting goods to market more cost-effectively to improve profit margins for all concerned, especially the end consumer. It is his belief that to become competitive in terms of pricing, it is vital that African industry embrace the digitisation of its processes.
The Link Ship Chandlers team will be keeping a close eye on this exciting collaboration between GESAT (GE South Africa Technologies) and Transnet, which we believe holds great potential to leverage the local company’s domain experience in combination with the international tech giant’s digital prowess, and result in a robust African digital economy.