Traxtion, the largest private freight rail operator in Africa, won a major accolade at this year’s Africa Supply Chain Excellence (ASCEA) awards.
The ceremony announcing this year’s winners was held in Johannesburg on Thursday evening and Traxtion walked away as winner in the Excellence in Transport category and received an Outstanding Achievement award in the Excellence in Supply Chain Education and Youth Programmes category.
The ASCEA awards celebrates organisations excelling in supply chain management in Africa and acknowledges that managing a supply chain is much more than moving goods and is a complex role within any organisation.
The Africa Supply Chain Excellence Awards has been set up as a not-for-profit entity and funds raised by the Awards and associated events go towards the creation of sustainable bursary opportunities for worthy individuals looking for supply chain education opportunities.
Traxtion CEO, James Holley, said the two awards were a validation of the work the company has put into both its operational and human endeavours.
“Traxtion strives to be the best in our field, and the awards are yet another indication that we are moving in the right direction,” he said.
The Excellence in Transport award was given to the Traxtion joint venture, Calabash, for its “Calabash, Advancing Africa” submission. In 2018 Calabash was the first private operator to be awarded a concession to run freight trains operating on the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA).
“Because of the success of the Calabash Freight operation, TAZARA has opened more slots for third-party access, and we have seen our operations branch out to other African countries,” said Holley.
The Outstanding Achievement award in the Excellence in Supply Chain Education and Youth Programmes focused on Traxtion’s human resources component.
“Traxtion’s commitment to skills development in our industry stems from our drive to be the best in all that we offer. Our aim is to not only provide development for our own staff, but also for our industry,” said Holley.
Traxtion has not only upskilled and assisted its own staff through bursaries and internal promotions, but its Training Centre in Rosslyn, Pretoria, has trained more than 700 drivers and 75 red seal technicians. Traxtion is also registered as a Skills Development Provider for rail operations and technical qualifications.
“South Africa has a dire shortage of artisans, and our industry relies heavily on artisans to keep the wheels on the tracks. Traxtion’s challenge was not only training highly skilled staff for our own operations but contributing to the greater skills development initiative in South Africa and Africa. Our rail school plays a huge part in training new artisans in South Africa and the rest of the continent,” Holley said.