INNOVATORS

Zambia 2017 | TRANSPORT | B2B

With an ideal central location in the region, Zambia is poised to be a regional transit hub, making it a strategic center of business for regional companies.

Oscar Gutierrez
OSCAR GUTIERREZ
General Manager
J&J Transport Zambia
Tembwe Mutungu
TEMBWE MUTUNGU
Director
Yendelela Trading

Why was Zambia at the top of the list of places where J&J sought to expand?

Oscar Gutierrez Zambia was chosen as the natural center point of the Southern African countries in which we operate. Additionally, Zambia shows potential for future growth with its vast mineral and agricultural sector. J&J Transport Zambia geographically forms part of the strategically positioned workshops, offices, and container depot that help us provide a full range of logistics services for freight. Over the past years the ease of doing business has been a further factor in operations within Zambia. The regulatory landscape and government agencies have positively affected the ease of doing business. Recently there have been some dramatic changes owing to the Zambian National Budget for 2017, which includes the introductions of tolls and increases in transport tax. We will only see the impact of those changes on J&J in the coming months. Our team is committed to ensuring constant improvement and development of services to ensure our customers always have a competitive advantage. We pride ourselves on our health and safety, ethics, integrity, reliability, and proactive and open communication.

What impact has Yendelela Trading had on the local economy?

Tembwe Mutungu Yendelela, which was founded in 2015, is the exclusive distributor of Bajaj products in Zambia and Malawi. Over 1 million Bajaj motorcycles are sold annually in Africa, making it the most popular motorcycle brand on the continent. In Zambia, Yendelela focuses on providing accessible and affordable transport solutions for rural and urban markets through non-traditional distribution channels. For example, customers within Monze district can purchase locally assembled motorbikes through agents supporting four sales points in the district. After-sales service and spares are accessed through eight Bajaj-trained mechanics, all at the customer's doorstep. Yendelela's innovation goes beyond distribution. Through an MoU with the Dairy Association of Zambia, modified auto rickshaws and motorcycles have the potential to change the economics of the dairy sector by making it possible for farmers to deliver milk to dairy companies twice a day. Previously, the high cost of transport meant farmers could only deliver once a day, losing any milk that had been produced in the afternoon. In urban areas, a variety of firms, from SMEs in the courier business to multinationals in telecommunications, are using motorcycles and auto rickshaws for marketing, goods and service distribution, and operations. In the past, this would only have been possible with the purchase of an expensive pick-up or bus, an unaffordable investment for most, with operational costs five or six times higher than a two or three wheeler. Today, Yendelela has Zambia's largest distribution footprint for two and three-wheeled vehicles, with coverage in four of Zambia's 10 provinces. The company's key differentiator is district-level provision of after-sales service and spares throughout the country, and customers outside the capital city appreciate having service centers within their province. The company aims to establish sales, spares, and service access in every province by the end of 2018 and in every district by the end of 2019.

Does Zambia have the potential to become a logistics hub for southern Africa?

OG Yes, Zambia is geographically well placed on the map and is a logistics hub for Southern Africa. Zambia, although land locked, has the advantage of four different corridors, which in turn ensures the natural competitiveness between the corridors to secure the Zambian business. J&J is honored to have been part of the development and growth of the Beira corridor for over 20 years. Beira is by far the nearest port serving the major centers in the region. Also, road infrastructure is continuing to improve, which will further improve trade, as well as harbor infrastructure, which has been upgraded. Now, international shipping lines are calling regularly. It is the historical, natural, and most cost-effective gateway serving Zimbabwe, Zambia, the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and Malawi. Zambia is still a relatively young country with great potential. Further development in road infrastructure within Zambia, specifically roads linking major areas of export and the Copperbelt will assist trade within Zambia. We are confident that road taxes and maintenance charges will continue to be directed toward improving infrastructure. J&J Africa is positive about Zambia's future and will continue to invest in people and our infrastructure within Zambia.