By: Tebogo Mokwena
Load-shedding is starting to have a severe impact on courier companies, with customers not receiving their parcels on time. Severe traffic jams, especially in the country’s cities on large towns, have become a daily occurrence because power cuts have resulted in traffic lights not working. According to Sboniso Ngema, who owns MTE Xpress, the rolling blackouts have affected the company’s ability to plan trips, deliver parcels on time, and its integrity.
He told Vutivi News that the courier sector was based on volume, which meant that they needed to deliver as much as they could during the day. Getting goods to customers on time was impossible on days when drivers had to take routes where the power and the traffic lights were out. “Our reputation is affected because the client will want to try someone because we failed to deliver on time, and we end up losing clients,” Ngema said.
For Herman Mtungwa, the owner of Mtu Logic which is based in Vereeniging, load-shedding was making it difficult for him to communicate with customers due to mobile network disturbances. He said sometimes drivers needed to get directions from customers, but because they were unable to get hold of them, it took longer to make their deliveries. It also made it difficult for people to get hold of the company to use its services. Mtungwa said just with traffic lights not operating, the delivery of packages was 45 minutes to an hour later than promised. And sometimes it took longer if there was no one directing the traffic.
“We get bad reviews in terms of the business’s reliability because it seems as if you cannot keep to your word even though the delay is caused by something that is out of your control,” he told Vutivi News. “Bad reviews lead to a loss of revenue because word of mouth spreads like a wildfire.”