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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

1, 350 jobs on the wire as COVID-19 crisis claim another trucking company

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Time Freight, one of South Africa’s leading trucking companies specializing in the courier and delivery services, has started a formal consultation process which could lead to the closure of the company.

Time Freight joins a few other trucking companies which are closing their doors during the lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19. Two other big companies, Transcor and Imperial Logistics have laid off close to 1 000 employees in total.

Time Freight was started as a KwaZulu-Natal road-based operator in 1984 and has grown into one of South Africa’s best-known logistics brands.

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It focussed on the delivery of larger items through its comprehensive road network.

It has major hubs in all main centres, and its website states that it employs over 1,350 people and operates more than 390 vehicles.

Time Freight forms part of express logistics company DPD Laser, which also owns the express courier service Dawn Wing.

DPD Laser CCO Hilton Eachus informed stakeholders on 22 April that it has been unable to operate during the lockdown.

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This, Eachus explained, is because very few of its customers were deemed as essential services.

“It is within this difficult context and after a great deal of deliberation that we have decided to commence a formal consultation process which could lead to the closure of Time Freight,” he said.

“Should the consultation process lead to closure, it will have a very negative impact on the lives of many.”

He added that some of its clients will be impacted, especially those who rely on Time Freight to deliver heavy or large items.

Dawn Wing not affected

Eachus said the potential closure of Time Freight will result in them investing heavily in the Dawn Wing business.

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Dawn Wing is a time-sensitive express courier business catering for smaller parcels with specialist expertise in B2B, healthcare, and ecommerce.

He said the potential closure of the Time Freight division has no negative impact on the current Dawn Wing business, nor its ambitions for the future.

There will, however, be some changes. The company will now focus on building a single market and innovation-led operating business.

This new single business will operate under a new brand – DPD Laser – which ties into the strong brands of the company’s two shareholders – DPD group and Laser.

He said this new business has strong shareholder support and the ambition remains to stay as one of the leading express distribution players in South Africa.

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