Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa is expanding its vehicle exports in order to meet the growing demand from European markets. Ford will adopt a new multi-port strategy in its effort to increase the number of South African-built Fords to Europe – shipping vehicles twice per month from different ports in South Africa.

At the moment, Ford’s vehicles are exported through Durban Harbour; South Africa’s primary import and export hub for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and automotive brands. Ford is looking at using Port Elizabeth as a secondary export hub for its vehicles – the city in which Formex operates. Formex is a direct supplier of vehicle components for Ford in South Africa.

“We are experiencing unprecedented demand for the Ford Ranger around the world,” says Ford Middle East and Africa vice president of operations, Ockert Berry. “Together with Transnet, we evaluated how a multi-port strategy could benefit both parties by improving the use of current assets, reducing costs, avoiding the ongoing congestion in the Durban Terminal and utilising other ports for imports and exports,” explains Berry.

Port Elizabeth will also benefit from Ford exports

The Ford Rangers are manufactured in Pretoria at Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant and then sent by Transnet rail to Durban and Port Elizabeth. “This will assist us in making the shipping and delivery from South Africa more cost effective, efficient and faster,” says Berry.

The port manager at Port Elizabeth, Rajesh Dana, is excited by Ford’s decision to export vehicles through the Eastern Cape. “The Transnet National Ports Authority is extremely excited at the launch vehicle volumes that Ford Motor Company will be processing through our port,” he says.

“The high number of these launch volumes further provides the Transnet operating divisions the opportunity to ensure that our OEM partners experience world-class facilitation through our port. Of further importance is the role that this operation will play in the long-term strategy of the port becoming an automotive hub,” explains Dana.

“Not only will this project result in increased export volumes through the Port of Port Elizabeth, but it will also allow for value-added logistics services within the port,” Dana adds. Ford’s increase in vehicle exports will bring more business to Port Elizabeth and, ultimately, help to grow the local economy.

Formex Industries is a metal forming and assembly company that supplies a variety of complex products to the local automotive industry and export market. The company is based in the Nelson Mandela Bay metropole, South Africa’s foremost region for automotive manufacturing and export.

Formex specialises in producing components for the catalytic converter industry, as well as metal components and assemblies for the various vehicles. Formex aims to become one of the foremost suppliers for the South African automotive industry by 2035, aligning itself with the South African Automotive Masterplan (SAAM) which takes effect in 2020.

Formex is a Level 2 B-BBEE supplier with over 80% black ownership, of which more than 40% are black women. The company is owned by Deneb Investments Limited – a subsidiary of Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited (HCI) – one of South Africa’s biggest true B-BBEE companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

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