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Interview with F.A.T.S. (Pty) Ltd

Source:Jctrans     2019-02-18

Caron Harris Founder & CEO

JCtrans: Would you please make a brief introduction of your company? 

Caron Harris: FATS was founded in 1992 in Durban, the company is now a major player in the South African freight forwarding industry. From humble beginnings, we have passionately developed FATS into a financially conservative (and secure), well-established, independently owned Freight Forwarder which has a strong footprint in the Durban market. Maintaining our location and operational location within a stone through has afforded us the ability to not only market ourselves successfully to both the local and international market as the South African agent of Choice utilising Durban as “The Gateway Into Africa”. 

JCtrans: Would you please talk about your core-competitiveness? 

Caron Harris: FATS offers an efficient road freight service that not only includes imported air and sea freight consignments, but also for onward transit to Southern Africa. We have an extensive range of options designed to suit all customer requirements.  Our road freight service is not limited to cross-border movements. It incorporates movements from South Africa’s main port to the consignee’s door in South Africa. On cross-border consignments FATS was a pioneer in the industry when founded in 1992 and rapidly became the industry leader with shipping lines and other corporate organisations in the industry utilising us exclusively as their cross-border partner. This extensive experience in cross-border transport has afforded us the opportunity to develop tried and tested procedures which when properly implemented ensure that cargo moves effortlessly to its destination. A particular niche market we are proud of is Project Cargo into Africa. We have been proud partners in many projects where we have been able to not only meet the required time lines but offer our clients’ savings on their logistical budgets. This has been accomplished by implementing the below operating procedures Having an intricate knowledge of the route and the border posts transited Having a strong long standing working relationship with our representative on the SA side of the border post. Having a strong long standing working relationship with our transporters Developing strong working relationships with the consignees clearing agent in country of destination Having both knowledge & experience of preparing and planning of load and distribution plans Providing all applicable parties with a full set of export documentation prior to any truck being despatched. On containerised cargo a.Unpacking cargo in Durban b.Transporting cargo breakbulk to destination c.See Unpack Vs Containerised for cost saving on cargo with final destination Lusaka 

JCtrans: What do you think is the most important thing to run a logistics company? 

Caron Harris: We are doing something that we are proud of. 

(1)We work with passion. 

(2) We have core values 

(3) We are running our business and living our lives in accordance with these values.

(4) We listen to our feelings. Being in touch with our feelings, rather than just our thoughts enables us to know who we really are. This helps us trust our intuition.

(5)We also listen to the feelings of others. We listen to our hearts as well as our heads. We validate other people’s feelings without being judgemental. We do this by saying “I hear you” or “I understand” and genuinely mean it. We know that people do not buy business systems or opportunities. PEOPLE BUY PEOPLE. If clients don’t buy us, they will not buy our business system – no matter what it is. But, if clients do buy us, they will buy our business system – no matter what it is! 

JCtrans: Would you please talk about the situation of logistic industry in your country? 

Caron Harris: The South African logistics market is a highly competitive market full of both experienced organisations as well as fly-by-night organisations who although offer brilliant rates fail on offering a professional service required by any client. 

JCtrans: Would you please talk about your strategy to explore foreign market? 

Caron Harris: Our strategy with the international (foreign) market is within FATS 2 fold, namely; 1.International agents not in Sub-Saharan Africa 2.Sub-Sahara Africa a.Lubumbashi, DRC b.Zambia c.Zimbabwe d.Malawi e.Botswana f.Lesotho g.Swaziland 

JCtrans: What is the reason that makes you become a GCP member to develop your business? 

Caron Harris: GCP membership was important to us as it provides us with a professional network of agents who hold the same values as FATS. These same agents are able to provide reciprocal business opportunities for mutual benefit. 

JCtrans: How do you maintain a long-term cooperation relationship with your clients? 

Caron Harris: WE at FATS believe that once any customer entrusts us with their cargo they become a member of the FATS family. As with family we treat your belongings (cargo) as it was our own, providing a service as our customers require (as a minimum), we maintain regular contact with them through telephone calls, personal visits & regular consultation as to their level of satisfaction.

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