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Interview with Caron Harris, CEO of Forwarding African Transport Services (Pty) Ltd

Source:Jctrans     2020-06-29

Caron Harris CEO

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

Caron Harris: F.A.T.S. originated from an idea to provide an expert solution to clients wishing to conduct business in Africa. Although originally providing transport services into Africa, F.A.T.S. soon found that a total logistics solution into Africa was needed by importers & exporters alike. After 28 years in the industry F.A.T.S. now offer a complete logistics solution to a host of countries not only in Africa but around the world. F.A.T.S. With a dedicated over border department dealing only with Africa, however, this is complimented by a Forwarding, a Sea & Air Freight Departments. As an accredited SARS Customs and Excise Agent, our custom’s clearing department offers support services to the entire group. Effectively making F.AT.S. your One-Stop Logistics shop. Finally, our Bonded Warehouse facility and our Road-Bond facility provide the ideal solution for business into Africa and therefore F.A.T.S. can proudly boast that not only are we regarded as experts into Africa with our experience but we are also able to speak the international language with local experience.

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

Caron Harris: 

●Project Cargo

●Accredited SARS Customs and Excise Agent

●Warehouse facilities and Road-Bond facilities

●28 years expertise with Road Freight into Sub-Sahara Africa

     ●Zambia

     ●Zimbabwe

     ●Malawi

     ●Botswana

     ●Lesotho

     ●Swaziland

     ●DRC, Lubumbashi

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

Caron Harris: After 28 years in the industry, I truly believe that the most important factor to running a logistics company is “COMMUNICATION”. From your staff to your service partners to your clients, communication is paramount as it is through clear effective communication that your organisation’s true grit is determined. By this I am referring to level of communication that takes place between all relevant parties when there is a problem.

· Your staff, must communicate the issue with management, a few potential solutions identified, service partners consulted & accountability maintained at all times.

· Your client, must immediately be made aware of the issue, solutions must be provided & continuous communication maintained until the issue is resolved & the cargo delivered.

· Your service partners must understand through our communication that we as a team are here to provide the best solution to deliver our clients cargo regardless of obstacles encountered, TEAMWORK MAKES A DREAMWORK. 

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

Caron Harris: South Africa has now endured the longest hard lockdown due to COVID-19, worldwide. As our industry slowly comes out & the new normal is revealed to the country, we at FATS have been very fortunate to be 100% ready prior to the lockdown. From our dynamic staff to our state of the art IT system we adapted to the daily changes & continue to evolve as the local logistics industry changes.

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

Caron Harris: FATS strategy within the international foreign market, is and has always been to provide our worldwide partners with the assurance that they have a partner in Africa, whom they can

i. Trust

ii. Be assured of a 1st class service in a 3rd class country

iii. Are available & respond timeously

iv. Provide professional, effective knowledge of local requirements & communicate clearly 

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

Caron Harris: FATS has been a GCP member since 2017 & have in our 4 years in the network thoroughly enjoyed the continuous & personal communication from Claire at JCTrans. The conferences I have attended have always been exceptionally well planned, hosted & collaborated ensuring maximum return on capital outlay. Dealing with fellow GCP members is always very quick & effective ensuring the best opportunity of securing business.

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

Caron Harris: At FATS we do not believe in a 1 size fits all mentality when it comes to our clients service requirements. Each & every client that joins the FATS family have their service tailor made to meet their individual requirements. We believe this attention to & operating with such detail, ensures our client know their cargo no matter how big or small is as important to us as it is to them. FATS goes beyond your logistics partner to becoming your family member in the logistics world.

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