Industrial equipment supplier Shumani, the only black-owned and managed company of its size in the materials-handling sector, has secured a major contract to supply 2.5 t Doosan diesel-powered forklifts to Marble Hall Farms. This consists of three citrus farms in Limpopo, with 58% of its production supplied locally, and the remaining 42% exported.
The forklifts are being used mainly in the packing houses of the operation, moving fruit to and from the different areas, as well as onto delivery vehicles. In addition to the forklifts, which are being supplied on a six- to nine-month rental contract, Shumani Industrial Equipment is also supplying a cleaning machine for the warehouse.
“We have built our capabilities in providing the best service available in the market. This is a new client for us that represents a foothold in a major growth market, and we clinched the contract based on both our level of competency and our competitive rates,” MD Victor Nemukula states.
The forklifts supplied are serviced directly by Shumani itself, which has highly experienced and trained technicians based in both Limpopo and Gauteng. “If we get any kind of service request from Marble Hall Farms, we are able to dispatch a technician immediately so as to minimise downtime for our client,” Nemukula explains. Operator training is part of Shumani’s value-added service offering to maximise uptime.
“As a new client, we had to prove that we can deliver. Marble Hall Farms had such faith in us that we clinched the lion’s share of their materials-handling requirements. To date we have established a credible relationship, and our machines have performed excellently, with the end result that I am sure we will be supplying additional equipment in the near future,” Nemukula asserts.
Shumani supplies gas, diesel, and electric forklifts up to 25 t. Its world-class industrial equipment range includes some of the best-known international brands, from Doosan to Crown, Bendi, Hubtex, and Kalmar. It is able to supply a complete materials-handling solution, from forklifts to pallet trucks.
Focusing exclusively on the South African market at present, Shumani’s success in the citrus-farming sector in Limpopo bodes well for further diversification locally. “At the moment we are focused on skilling our employees on our existing product range, and building our competency base. Obviously we will look at what other solutions we can provide to add even more value to our customers’ operations. We review our product line-up constantly.”
Commenting on the impact of trends such as Industry 4.0 on materials handling, Nemukula points out that Shumani is in constant dialogue with its suppliers about the latest developments. “Most of our customers are global players, so they want the same kind of equipment that is prevalent internationally.
“In terms of automation itself, the major advantage for our customers is reduced costs. It will also involve retraining our customers’ operators on any new products or technology that is introduced. I believe the automation trend will extend from forklifts to integrating the entire value chain in materials handling,” Nemukula concludes.