Listed logistics firm, Unifreight Africa, says volumes a key indicator of demand, rose 135 percent to 120 000 tonnes in the third quarter of 2023 from 50,000 tonnes in the comparative period.
According to group chief executive officer, Richard Clarke, the increase is driven mainly by an investment in capacity during the first quarter of 2023, where Unifreight procured 100 X FAW28-380FT, which were paired with AFRIT Taut-liners.
“The 100 FAW’s have been operating within the local Zimbabwean market; however, depressed rates and KM have resulted in us moving some of the fleet onto more lucrative cross-border contracts.
“During Q4 2023 and into 2024, we aim to further increase our fleet of FAW’s and to allocate additional assets toward the cross-border market,” he said.
Clarke said the company recorded earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation profit of $3,4 billion in the third quarter of 2023, a remarkable year-over-year reversal from a loss-making position in 2022.
This was underpinned by a combination of a 135 percent rise in revenue growth and a marginal 2 percent increase in spending.
“Q3 expenditure remained flat year on year, with a marginal 2 percent increase between 2022 and 2023. Considering the addition of assets to our fleet, this was remarkable cost containment in an inflationary environment,” Clarke said.
He noted that the operating environment, however, has been challenging for the business and the company is now servicing the local market through smaller trucks at reduced running costs per kilometer.
“For the local Zimbabwean market, we are focusing on investment in smaller FAW28 290hp and FAW8 140hp trucks with volumetric configurations to better serve the local market at lower running costs per KM.
“This strategy is aligned with our cost containment and cross-border strategy that is proving to be an effective model,” he said.
The group also lauds the policymaker’s suggestions to eliminate the Intermediate Money Transfer Tax (IMTT) on bank card transactions.
“This intervention will support the formal retail industry, which Unifreight transports countrywide,” Clarke said.
He said the company is optimistic about meeting its performance projections amid economic headwinds.