South Africa is Gateway to a Booming Region

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During the past 20 years, international business attention has mostly focused on the fast-growing economies of Asia Pacific, with a handful of other developing countries around the world, such as Brazil, Russia and India, also getting attention. More recently the spotlight has been shining on near-sourcing opportunities in places such as Mexico and Turkey. For the most part, however, Africa's economic success stories have remained in the shadows.

That obscurity is not likely to last. According to International Monetary Fund data, Africa claims 11 of the world's 20 fastest-growing economies by GDP over the past five years. As momentum subsides in China and elsewhere, the Dark Continent finally may be stepping onto center stage. The question now is not whether resource-rich Africa will continue to develop quickly, but whether it can balance its booming agriculture and mining sectors with value-added manufacturing and services to support increased domestic consumption.

The trends are pointing in the right direction. However, it's important to recognize that, economically and culturally, there are really two Africas -- the Saharan north and the sub-Saharan south.

The latter (which contains all 11 of the IMF's top 20) is a diverse mix of 48 countries in very different stages of development. While armed conflict and political instability have declined in sub-Saharan Africa, most of its nations now face significant challenges in education, employment, health and law enforcement.

Occupying a unique position in the region is South Africa, which boasts its most diverse economy (and, until last year, when oil-rich Nigeria took first place, the region's largest). Ranking 24th globally in population, South Africa is the world's 33rd-largest economy and ranks 37th on the World Bank's ease-of-doing-business index.

On the flip side, the country is experiencing some socioeconomic challenges including crime and poverty which can be seen as symptomatic results of high unemployment. The currency has also taken a hit due to a number of internal and external factors.

Growing our roots to support yours

UTi is committed to South Africa's success. The modern UTi was established here in 1986 by three native South Africans, and this dynamic, high-potential nation forms the keystone of our robust presence in the region, where we have grown to 6,000 team members and a strong agent network that together serve clients in 34 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria and other up-and-coming markets like Angola, Kenya and Tanzania.

As the supply chain leader in South Africa, UTi operates contract logistics and freight forwarding locations in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth, as well as numerous distribution locations throughout the country.

Together we provide the complete range of services and solutions, including the delivery of small parcels and documents. Our secure, same-day delivery service has earned us the trust of leading financial institutions and consumer products companies operating in South Africa, where UTi is certified to TAPA and ISO 9001.

Capabilities to meet your unique supply chain needs

The safe handling and timely distribution of products is perhaps nowhere more important than in the pharmaceutical and healthcare field. In South Africa and beyond, no one is more committed or capable than UTi is to deliver for this industry.

Our dedicated pharma and health division offers the end-to-end processes, systems, technology, facilities, vehicles -- and the experienced, passionate people -- to connect manufacturers to dispensers and their patients both efficiently and effectively.

Beyond performing to the highest quality assurance standards and providing the most rigorously temperature- and humidity-controlled environments, our commitment has led us to invest in a new state-of-the-art pharma and health logistics center outside Johannesburg.

The most advanced facility of its kind in the region, the recently opened Longmeadow center served as the site-visit destination for the recent IQPC logistics conference nearby.

Our approach to pharma and health is just one example of how UTi's client-centric strategy puts the special needs of the clients and industries we serve first. We take a similar approach to other verticals, such as automotive, consumer and retail, and energy, mining and projects, and we provide special capabilities across verticals, such as material handling.

For example, UTi can design, implement and continuously improve the performance of your supply chain through specialized warehousing, distribution and production logistics solutions.

Our material handling team receives and warehouses your inventory, feeding it into your production line on a just-in-time or supply-in-line-sequence basis. The team also specializes in finished goods environments, operating distribution centers to ensure goods are received, warehoused and distributed to the correct markets on time.

A proven track record of success

Our commitment to delivering competitive advantage and quantified value has been recognized time and again by our clients and the supply chain industry. This year we were proud to receive the Pan African Procurement Innovation Award from the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply and four South Africa Logistics Achiever Awards for our work with clients including Becton Dickinson, General Motors, Lebone Litho/Paarl Media, the South Africa Department of Basic Education and Western Cape Government Health.

Let's get together to talk about how we can help you establish, expand or optimize your operations in South Africa. To start the conversation, contact UTi South Africa Sales Vice President Jenny Purchase.

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