In for the long run

From the October 2018 issue.

Despite dampened productivity growth and a regulatory environment not conducive to private investment; one specialist manufacturer, based in South Africa, is bucking the trend, and demonstrated premium workmanship and quality in its debut appearance at IAA.

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Executive Board reported that South Africa has broad-based potential to boost growth significantly, aided by deep and liquid financial markets, a solid domestic investor base, a floating exchange rate, and limited susceptibility to exchange rate risk. However, significant vulnerabilities arise from fiscal risks related to weak and poorly managed state-owned enterprises and other spending pressures.

This economic assessment follows low consumer and business confidence where per-capita growth has turned negative, with a poverty rate standing at 40 per cent and income equality pegged as one of the highest globally.

To contrast these indicators, South Africa’s manufacturing production actually rose year-on-year in May 2018 by 2.3 per cent, according to Trading Economics, marking the biggest gain in industrial output in four months amid rises in motor vehicles, parts, accessories and other transport equipment (9.9 per cent compared to 1.5 per cent).

Embracing technical innovation, globally renowned OEM, GRW, has its proverbial finger on the pulse – developing state-of-the-art road transport equipment, championing automation processes, while paying close attention to industry trends including the booming market for alternative fuels and battery-operated vehicles.

Here is a progressive engineering company on the move, a dynamic innovative manufacturer that looks to the future.

Gerhard van der Merwe, GRW CEO, confirms that the manufacturer is striving to significantly reduce lead times, from order to delivery, of its tanker builds throughout Europe. “Where European manufacturers can typically take a year or more to deliver custom spec’d tankers, GRW aims to do the same, but in the space of about three months,” he says – adding that the OEM will be presenting its 60m3 Tipping Silo Tanker at IAA. “The Silo Tanker will be used for food-grade applications and is fitted with an anti-corrosion stainless steel discharge bowl, ladder and handrails as well as a spacious steel storage cabinet and BPW axles. It also has a hydraulic pump for tipping and mobile offloading.”

The tanker on show also features remote pressure relief and additional add-ons including hydraulic stabilising landing legs for optimal operator safety.
While GRW has established a presence in Sub-Sahara Africa, van der Merwe says that exhibiting at the commercial vehicle show, IAA, opens up new opportunities for fleet operators across Germany and Eastern Europe to trial and invest in durable, functional and reliable tankers and semi-trailers built with automated precision.

“GRW serves various industrial sectors including construction and mining, petroleum and chemical, and designs trailing equipment optimised for carting fast-moving consumer goods, temperature-controlled products, palletised goods and break bulk general cargo,” he says. “All these trailers service the operational requirements of operators across South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa as well as the Middle East, Australia, the UK and Europe.”

While the IMF is optimistic about South Africa’s economy, especially with the recent political transition offering renewed opportunities to advance reforms to promote jobs and growth, GRW is poised to point its country in the right direction, taking the lead with world-class trailing equipment manufacturing.

Fast Fact
GRW, based in Worcester, South Africa, partnered with German OEM, Schmitz Cargobull, in August 2017 to diversify its portfolio, developing and assembling new refrigerated semi-trailers and box bodies. “Our philosophy is to offer the best in class,” says GRW CEO, Gerhard van der Merwe. “That’s why we approached Schmitz Cargobull – because in our eyes they produce the best trailers in the world: a perfect partnership.”

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