GAC Laser Ventures Into Africa

GAC-Laser-Africa4MARKET KNOWLEDGE is the greatest asset for trade into Africa, and that extends far beyond the basics of transport and documentation. “It’s a minefield, and every country is a challenge on its own,” says GAC Laser’s, Managing Regional Executive for Gauteng, Grant Palmer, “which is why we established a highly experienced Export Department to provide our customers with a single point for comprehensive regional information. “Our experts update and maintain country portfolios, which are carefully researched, covering a range of information from infrastructure limitations, Customs legislation, Reserve Bank requirements to transport service providers and comparative transport options. The information is highly valuable as the changes in Africa are never ending nor consistent. “It’s all about risk management, especially in the current economic market and you need to be well informed to make prudent and informed choices.”

The Export Department, headed up by Anthea Turner, is not only about manuals and information for local shippers, it also handles cross-trade. “We control shipments in South Africa from anywhere in the world into and out of Africa, without the shipments touching South African soil.”

GAC LASER extended its footprint internationally, with its recent focus across most of Africa, and  special focus on Angola, Nigeria, Zambia and the DRC. “We choose our service providers carefully to ensure measurable consistency, thereby offering superior, personalised service to our customers”, says Palmer, who lists infrastructure and legislation as two of the major issues and challenges. “Another huge challenge is the limited airfreight capacity into Africa, exasperated with the demise of a number of airlines within the region.”

But finding the most effective routing is part of the challenge and this keeps our Export specialists busy whilst ensuring that our valued customers can weigh up their mode of transport vs. time options with the benefit of comparative costings.

For the future, Palmer is extremely optimistic. “After joining GAC Laser in December last year and building a handpicked team in JHB, we are already the top customer to the majority of airlines serving Africa from South Africa. Combined with Laser’s international joint venture in 2007 with the world’s leading independent Freight Forwarding Company, the Gulf Agency (GAC )based out of Dubai, there are exciting times ahead.”

GAC Laser is one of South Africa’s leading independent clearing and forwarding companies specialising in facilitating international trade in both imports and exports, air and sea.

icon Venturing Into Africa Sept 2008 (168.3 kB)