Aspen Logistic Services has a vision to be the benchmark for quality transportation service within the industry.
And with several years of exceptional service under its belt, as well as values that revolve around transparency, respect, a team-based approach, a strong sense of urgency and integrity in all dealings, it’s no surprise the company has been recognised as a leading service provider in its business.
Aspen is a specialist service provider to the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) market, with the capability to transport temperature controlled and dry products on behalf of contractual Blue Chip clients that supply to the major retailers, including notable brands like Tiger Brands, Massmart Holdings and Parmalat South Africa.
The company, which is now a Level 3 BBBEE contributor, was founded in December 2000 and initially operated as a transport broking service. In 2003, a strategic decision was made to acquire and operate its own fleet of vehicles. The motivation behind this was because the management wanted to be able to better control its offerings to guarantee superior standards and premium service to its customers.
Today the company is located in Gauteng with smaller offices in Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.
Over the years the company’s fleet and footprint have grown, as have its services. Today, Aspen Logistic Services offers long haul transport within South Africa and neighbouring countries, as well as short haul transport within South Africa’s main city centres.
The company also provides storage in a facility in Gauteng, offering up to 600 pallet space for frozen product as well as 2,000 pallet space for ambient product.
Aspen also transports reefer containers from the Port to a Cold Storage Facility and its sister company, Aspen International Services, specialises in clearing and forwarding, to ensure all steps within the logistics chain remains smooth.
As for the fleet itself, the company offers horse and 30 pallet reefer combinations for long-haul projects, while the short haul vehicles range from 8 ton, 14 ton rigid and 24 ton horse and reefer combinations.
The truck tractors are standardised Freightliners, part of the Daimler AG group, with CAT 515 and Detriot engines, and the trailers are PPECB approved, which means it has been certified by the Perishable Products Export Control Board to safely export perishable products.
“Our trailer builders have embarked on a number of environmentally friendly initiatives in their factories. We operate Thermoking SLX refrigeration units which have made enormous strides in reducing CO2 emissions as well as reducing fuel consumption and reduced noise pollution,” explains Sujen Padayatchi, managing director of Aspen Logistic Services. “Environmental awareness is encouraged with our staff, facilitated through paper collections, bottle banks, centralised printers and on-going environmentally friendly awareness memorandums.”
In any logistics business, risk is an element that always needs to be carefully considered, especially when operating as specialised of a service as Aspen.
However, the company has set up several steps to help mitigate any potential issues every step of the way.
The company operates a 24 hour operations room where all vehicles are monitored on a constant basis. Vehicles are fitted with a flagship satellite tracking system for real time monitoring and have additional functions of driver identification, vehicle immobilisation, accident sensors, digital and analog inputs for recording and measuring any extra information that is required.
In addition to its own internal systems, Aspen Logistic employs an off-site out sourced tracking company to ensure it is able provide 24 hour ‘eyes on screen’ monitoring of all vehicles. These professionals specifically track and monitor alarm signals, vehicle route deviations and ongoing compilation of information that impacts vehicle utilisation.
Corporate social responsibility and the concept of giving back to the community is a philosophy many companies embrace in this day and age, and Aspen Logistic Services is no different. The conscientious company is involved in various corporate social initiatives where it can make a difference in the community.
The company donates money to a number of organisations that are dedicated to helping children who have been affected by AIDS. This includes Oliver’s House, a non-profit charity situated in Benoni on the East Rand, which manages two feeding centres, a children’s care centre and a computer training centre.
“It is like a school,” explains Padayatchi. “The organisation educates and treats AIDS orphans. These children are taught various subjects including math, science and ICT. They also receive regular food parcels and care.”
Aspen Logistic Services is also involved with a project in Durban, providing support to a local church, Beth’Le-Hem Eph’Ra-Tah, which works closely with disadvantaged communities. The project ensures that children in these communities are fed on a weekly basis and offers bursaries that provide them with the opportunity to obtain a good education.
Furthermore, the company also provides funding for Doctors Without Borders and Gift of the Givers Foundation, which are organisations that offer support to victims in countries that have been torn apart by war or natural disasters.
Aspen Logistic Services was recently honoured as the first customer to be awarded a Cat Million Kilometre milestone, and with 80 units on the road nationally, the company was also recognised as South Africa’s largest purely CAT-powered Freightliner fleet operator.
According to reports, the company is looking to expand its services outside where it already operates, including Mozambique, Swaziland, Namibia and Botswana, and into the Zimbabwe and Zambia markets.
Considering the growth the continent has been seeing, as well as constant attention being drawn by the international business community, a company like Aspen Logistic Services, with several years of operating knowledge within the continent, should have an extremely competitive advantage to take the lead in any new emerging market within Africa it sets its sights on.