The trucking and the logistics sector is a key artery of the South African economy, moving goods across the vast expanses of the country’s landscape to key ports and other transport nodes.

However, factors such as political changes, unrest and global conflicts, economic shifts and pressures, infrastructural issues, and climate change all impact the sector.

At the annual Road Freight Association (RFA) Convention, which took place in the Western Cape at the end of May, RFA CEO Gavin Kelly spoke of the inevitable change that was happening to the “rhythm of trucking”.

Astron Energy was one of the key sponsors of the Convention, with the RFA working to support its members and ensure they remain sustainable and competitive in a changing landscape.

According to the RFA, the four biggest challenges facing the trucking industry were borders, ports, crime, and rates. Long queues at border posts and ports impacted productivity and profitability for companies.

In such a complex and challenging operating environment, businesses and operators seek out every advantage to optimise operating and profit margins.

Leading fuel company Astron Energy is at the cutting-edge of providing innovative solutions using its decades of commercial business experience.

Astron Energy Commercial and Industrial General Manager Axola Myendeki said: “We understand the impact that downtime can have on a customer’s operations in the road freight industry.

“This is even more so when the sector faces significant other challenges and we believe we can provide bespoke solutions to customers to help them achieve those critical marginal gains. This is the difference between commercial success and sustainability of the business or failure.”

According to Myendeki, Astron Energy’s portfolio of transport solutions considered the holistic operations of its customers and identified areas where we can add value along their value chain.

“We are committed to partnering with all our key customers, including members of the critical Road Freight Association of South Africa, to understand their challenges in a difficult operating environment, and to co-create solutions.”

The Astron Energy refinery in Milnerton, Cape Town, has a daily processing capacity of 100,000 barrels of crude oil, and produces various products, including petrol, diesel, jet fuel and LPG, as well as very low sulphur marine fuel (VLSFO).

The company’s lubricants plant in Durban produces innovative and flagship brands and specialised lubricants for industrial, commercial and consumer markets.

Myendeki said: “High quality lubricants are critical in optimising truck performance across vast distances and across various stress factors.

“Using high-quality lubricants ensure your engine and other moving parts operate smoother for longer and not only optimise performance but also extend the life of key components.”

Used as recommended, proper lubrication reduces downtime for maintenance and contributes to the optimal performance of the business.

“Trucking and logistics is a fast-moving sector that plays a critical role in driving the South African economy and, as such, the requirement for dependable, high-quality products is critical to support and maintain operators in this demanding sector.”

“At Astron Energy, we believe we have the resources and products to support the aspirations of the trucking and logistics sector to allow these to function optimally and sustainably,” he said.

“We partner for long-term sustainable growth, of customers’ businesses, as well as for the South African economy.”