AFG Blog

Major Logistical Challenges in South Africa

Logistics are the lifeblood of any country’s economy, linking suppliers with businesses and businesses with customers, providing goods and services. Within the Context of South Africa, the logistics and supply chain industry faces a number of consequential challenges that present obstacles that must be overcome to operate effectively and efficiently.

Ageing and inadequate transportation infrastructure

South African Road and rail networks are ill-maintained and often are left to function in poor condition. This combined with aged and poorly operated Ports means that these vital components of transportation infrastructure are not able to meet the demands of a growing economy and population. The poor condition of the infrastructure exists in leads to a vicious cycle in which the infrastructure becomes more and more degraded until it collapses and causes massive delays and setbacks.

Crime as a logistical Challenge

Crime in South Africa is not a new story, and the slow and methodical nature of transport makes it susceptible to cargo theft, as it is much easier to protect cargo in warehouses. Once on the roads cargo runs the risk of being incepted and hijacked. Large, highly connected Organised crime groups target trucks for relatively little risk to themselves and cause massive premiums on insurance for logistical companies.

Unemployment and Education

Due to the high unemployment rate in South Africa, many people are in search of jobs. However, South Africa also has an inadequate education system and thus many people are unable to develop sought-after skills that would allow them to seek meaningful employment. This means that highly skilled workers are often much older and often struggle to maintain the pace at which they are required to work for the company to remain competitive.

Lack of Technological Adoption

Due to difficulties in a younger workforce emerging the industry has lacked the drive to innovate. This lack of Technological Adoption within South Africa means that they cannot compete with the standards of international companies and are falling further and further behind in terms of capabilities, vision for the future, optimization, forecasting, and control over the supply chain.


Inadequate and damaged infrastructure, high levels of crime and the risk of theft, Unskilled labor, rife unemployment, little innovation, and technological adoption make it very difficult to effectively manage your logistics and overcome the challenges set before.
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