October is Transport Month in South Africa which few may be aware of but for the fact that this year there were a few interesting moments to landmark the occasion regarding logistics. And, as we at TSI Central Station keep a close eye on developments within the industry, we thought we would share two items which stood out particularly.
Local train manufacturing factory opens
Metrorail commuters should soon have good cause to smile again as Transport Minister, Blade Nzimande, on 25 October 2018, launched a train manufacturing factory at Dunnottar Park in Nigel, Ekurhuleni. The project cost an estimated one billion rand. While it was formally begun two years ago it has only reached full production capability now, and has already created 635 full-time employment positions. Beyond having a stable job and income, South African employees are learning valuable manufacturing skills which the local industry sorely needs.
The Transport Department stated that, “The plant will deliver two new trains by December 2018, an approximation of nine trains by March 2019 and an estimated total of 56 trains over the next two years thereafter if bulk service challenges are overcome.” The project comes in response to the frequent burning of Metrorail trains and subsequent transport delays.
Walmart demands suppliers adopt blockchain
On the international front, US food giant Walmart has stepped up its demand to its supplies on a subject TSI understands very well, the use of blockchain. TSI Central Station’s Information System (CSIS) operates on the same principals which Walmart is now pushing to its suppliers since a large scale E. coli breakout caused panic in the United States. According to the official CDC report, “210 people infected with the outbreak strain were reported from 36 states. 96 people were hospitalized, including 27 people who developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. Five deaths were reported from Arkansas, California, Minnesota and New York.
In the wake of the Romaine Lettuce inspired epidemic Walmart began pushing for a move to a blockchain system in order to achieve the same goals that TSI does with its own system, ensure logistics and transport transparency, reliability and accountability. According to Walmart the switch to blockchain will ensure that, should any such emergency occur again, they will be able to track the source of the outbreak within minutes, rather within the days it took the US government to ascertain the source of the taint during the Romaine Lettuce crisis.