Salt smart trucks commissioned

New wheels

08 August 2021 | Business

Andre Snyman; MD; “…we are the first company on the continent that has embraced this new A–double PBS transport technology…”

Walvis Bay Salt Holdings in partnership with Unitrans, commissioned four new Performance Based Standards (PBS) vehicles, or smart trucks, to move salt from its processing plant south of Walvis Bay to the port.

The new PBS vehicles became officially operational on Monday 18 July 2021. In total, five new trucks will be introduced.

Every year Walvis Bay Salt Holdings (WBSH) transports in the order of 600 000 tons of processed product to the port of Walvis Bay for exports to various markets internationally.

The new fleet of PBS vehicles will replace the previous fleet of 10 interlink trucks, reducing the daily number of trips by nearly half to less than fifty. The initial idea of the smart trucks was introduced in November 2020 at a stakeholder’s engagement session.

WBSH managing director Andre Snyman said that the introduction of the new PBS vehicles is aimed at promoting safety, innovation and efficiency in transport.

“Together with Unitrans Namibia we are the first company on the continent that has embraced this new A–double PBS transport technology; now we are bringing this to Walvis Bay.”

The trucks were designed and built by AFRIT in South Africa, a BUD Group sister company of Walvis Bay Salt, and boasts a payload of 64 tons compared to the 34 tons of the current interlink trucks.

It is slightly longer at 27 metres as opposed to the 22-metre length of the current trucks.

Apart from a drastic reduction in the number of daily trips, the new A-Double Side Tipper trucks also offer other benefits including less load bearing on the road, better turning, less spilling, and a higher rollover stability.

Earlier this year, WBSH sponsored the upgrading of the surface at the intersection of Nangolo Mbumba Drive and 5th Road with a brick surface as part of a public – private partnership with the municipality of Walvis Bay.

The Roads Authority and the Walvis Bay Municipality granted the necessary approvals to operate the vehicles on the same route as is currently being used.

The salt trucks services are an outsourced function and not managed by WBSH.

WBSH, through its various subsidiaries, is the largest producer of solar sea salt in sub-Saharan Africa. Apart from its strategic location with direct access to principal international shipping routes through the Port of Walvis Bay, the company’s focus on efficiency of freight and logistics has been central to its success in the southern African market.

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