Supply chain and logistics leader Imperial Logistics has added impetus to its drive for greener supply chains with a two-pronged energy saving initiative that encompasses its transport fleet and warehouses, as well as innovative water saving, waste management and recycling drives
Sustainability is a value that Imperial Logistics takes very seriously, and many pioneering projects across the company’s operations are significantly reducing the entity’s carbon footprint.
That’s the view of Lucky Maluleke, Imperial Logistics Health, Safety and Sustainability (HSS) Executive. He reports that one high-tech initiative that is delivering big benefits is the installation of state-of-the-art Aero Kits on Imperial Retail Logistics vehicles.
The current Aero Kit design utilises side skirting on the trucks that deflects the wind around the wheel arches and reduces turbulence. It has already realised fuel savings of up to 8%. Maluleke reveals, however, that Imperial aims to improve on that, with development underway of a kit that closes off virtually the entire truck from wind friction.
The group’s installation of online metering in warehouses, cold rooms, battery rooms and wash bays is also allowing Imperial to monitor the usage of electricity and water, and deploy energy saving interventions.
In Centurion, at Imperial Health Sciences’ head office, electricity consumption has been reduced by more than 39 000 kWhs, as a result of the power saving drive. Diesel consumption has been cut from 9 452 litres to 4 311 litres through the use of generators, forklifts and staff buses.
The company has also made considerable strides in reducing its water consumption, with a decrease from 2 921 kilolitres to 2 310 kilolitres. “This saving is largely the result of the installation of five HVAC units, which replaced evaporative coolers that produced more than 10 000 litres of water a day,” explains Maluleke.
The company’s waste management initiatives include the employment of a full-time on-site waste management team, which has streamlined the collection, sorting and segregation of all waste through a centralised waste station. Waste generation has been cut from 44,01 to 26,97 tons. The company proudly recycles 59% of all waste generated by its operations.
When Imperial Health Sciences undertook extensions to its Cape Town premises, sustainability was prioritised, and the project was completed using environmentally responsible and resource-efficient principles in every aspect of the building’s lifecycle.
LED lighting and motion sensors are used throughout the facility and the roof is painted with a Thermo-Shield coating that reduces interior temperatures by as much as 45%, thereby cutting air conditioning and refrigeration costs by up to 40%. A solar powered electric fence and carbon emissions sensitive server are further energy efficient enhancements.
Imperial’s dedication to greening Southern African supply chains was recognised at last year’s Logistics Achiever Awards, where the group was presented with two Enviro Awards.
But it’s not only on the environmental front that Imperial Logistics is achieving results. The company’s five-pillar approach to business risk is yielding big benefits in other areas. Take its proactive, multi-pronged approach to managing transport risk, for instance. Fewer hijackings, more successful convictions and the collapse of hijacking syndicates are among notable achievements.
Maluleke says that risks that must be constantly considered and mitigated in the transport industry include environmental factors like severe weather conditions; fires; temperature control; accidents; driver fatigue; and the inappropriate operation of equipment.
“In addition to these risks, there are the constant threats of hijacking, armed robbery, theft and pilferage, which affect all commodities being moved. Transport companies must also ensure that they comply with tax and regulatory laws,” he says.
Maluleke outlined the five pillars employed by Imperial to mitigate risk. “These are technology, partnerships, intelligence, procedures and communication,” he explains.
The technology used by Imperial includes multiple tracking devices; CCTV cameras that are both covert and overt; tracking and jamming devices; in-product tracking; and unique vehicle identification.
“Imperial also utilises specialised high security locks on cargo doors, with modifications to prevent forced entry. Customised trailer doors prevent access with a bolt cutter, and other innovations include fifth wheel trailer locks,” he reveals.
The group leverages technology to develop detailed pre-departure checklists and pre-determined routes, as well as for continuous route risk analysis, he notes. Drivers also undergo advanced security awareness training that features hijack simulations.
The second risk mitigating pillar on which Imperial’s success is founded is partnerships. “The relationship between the logistics service provider, the specialised security provider and the client is critical, particularly when high value loads are accompanied by armed guards,” Maluleke stresses.
Intelligence that can reduce transport risk includes specialised investigations into hijackings, behavioural analysis and profiling, he states. “Together with pre-employment credit and fraud checks and polygraphs, these strategies can help with the early identification of criminal intent,” he says.
Roaming escorts patrolling in high risk delivery areas also provide invaluable intelligence and mitigate risk, he adds. Maluleke affirms that strict adherence to procedures is an integral part of managing transport risk.
“There can be no compromise when it comes to conforming to standard operating procedures. Some of Imperial’s procedures include pre-departure checklists covering mechanical, technology and safety checks; route risk analysis that is done without fail prior to a truck departing on a new route; and the use of safe stopping points.
“Our procedure for investigation is that this is always handled by experts, so that evidence is not contaminated or lost and we can ensure successful arrests and subsequent convictions.”
The fifth and final pillar that Maluleke contends is critical to reduce transport risk is communication. “There must be constant communication between the driver and control room. WhatsApp groups are often used to share information on hot spot areas and for incident reporting.
“Speed dialling enhances communication efficiency, along with PTT (Push To Talk) phones, with defined words to indicate a security threat,” he asserts. Communication also encompasses ongoing driver training refresher courses, anti-hijack training, as well as comprehensive driver debriefing, Maluleke says.
“The ideal risk management strategy is one that is shared by supplier and client, and which respects people’s dignity and human rights while implementing effective security controls, standards, policies and procedures to ensure the safety and protection of people, products, assets, markets and reputations.
“The fight against crime remains a high priority for Imperial, and we are committed to continuous improvement and innovation in this area to ensure that our interventions are as effective as they can be in protecting our employees and our clients,” he concludes.
IN BOX: SEPARATE STORY WITH PIC FLEETBOARD
Marshall Hendricks, winner of the FleetBoard Drivers’ League competition
HED: Top of the world!
Three cheers to Marshall Hendricks, a South African truck driver from Imperial Logistics Group company Fast ’n Fresh, who beat a total of 19 438 drivers from 359 companies in 18 countries to take top honours in the 2015 FleetBoard Drivers’ League.
FleetBoard Driver’s League is a driving competition run throughout the world using Daimler’s FleetBoard telematics system to determine driver scores. In the worldwide 2015 rankings, it was Marshall Hendricks who stood at the top of the winners’ podium in the Best Driver category. Hendricks demonstrated his skills with an amazing driving style score of 9,95 out of 10.
“There are so many factors that determine what makes a good driver, such as braking, accelerating and using the correct gears at all times. The Daimler FleetBoard system makes it so much easier to access and understand the information from the truck. I would often log into the system to see how I was doing against the other drivers and this meant we had a high and very healthy level of competition,” says Hendricks.
In the local FleetBoard Drivers’ League, Pieter Adriaanse also from Imperial Fast ’n Fresh took second position.
“It is impressive how many male and female drivers from a wide range of countries took part in the 2015 FleetBoard Drivers’ League. Our aim with this competition is to motivate and stimulate drivers to integrate an economical driving style into their day-to-day work, and to continuously improve so that they can overtake their competitors in the Drivers’ League and finally emerge as the winners,” says Rowlands Peters, Head of FleetBoard South Africa.
He adds: “FleetBoard is more than just one of the best telematics system in the industry. It also serves as a tool to increase the quality of a driver’s skills and, when that takes place, we have safer drivers and safer roads. Of course, it gives me great pleasure to know that the best driver within the global FleetBoard Drivers’ League competition is from South Africa. Congratulations to everyone who was involved.”