Inside Africa

In a move designed to boost the growth of the Cargo Carriers mining business, and diversify its earnings through sub-Saharan Africa, Cargo Carriers, a JSE listed logistics business, has acquired a 55% stake in Zambian based Buks Haulage Limited (BHL) for an initial price of US$2.2-million (about R18.4-million).

But what exactly will the two companies will bring to each other? Cargo Carriers brings a high-level SHEQ (Safety, Health, Environment and Quality) capability and access to capital to enable BHL’s growth ambition, while BHL gives Cargo Carriers a significant footprint in sub-Saharan Africa. It will also extend its recently won gains in the mining industry in South Africa, says Murray Bolton, joint chief executive of Cargo Carriers.
BHL’s primary business is the transportation of copper concentrate, lime and sulphuric acid in Zambia and the DRC, although it also provides logistics solutions in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors. The fit with Cargo Carriers in this respect is a good one, with Cargo Carriers having substantial logistics operations in both Agriculture and Mining. 

“There is no doubt,” says Garth, Murray’s brother and joint CEO. “The centre of gravity for mining has moved north. If we want to be players in this market we needed to be present in these countries.” 
Central Africa has also been described as the breadbasket of the world, something that will not have been lost on this strategically-managed supply chain business with major interests in agricultural and chemical logistics.

Zambia is in the middle of the East African sugar belt. Cargo Carriers’ long-stated intention to compete in this zone by extending their operations from Swaziland, Mpumalanga and Zimbabwe will be given strength by a presence on the ground in Zambia. 

The move to strengthen its Southern and Central African business capability will please global mining, agricultural and chemical businesses who are themselves looking to expand into the world’s fastest growing continent, but are faced with challenges to find logistics partners who deliver the required Safety and Environmental standards. 
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