Showing some real faith
Scania South Africa has a way of “becoming family” with its clients. For up-and-coming operator Tradevest Logistics, Scania is certainly helping it achieve some lofty goals
Lise van der Berg, MD at Tradevest Logistics, is a woman strutting her stuff in a man’s industry. She first entered the transport industry in 2000 and launched her current company, Tradevest Logistics, in July 2015.
It’s not been an easy road, though, and Van der Berg couldn’t have started her company without the help from Morne Munz and David Wiid from Scania Cape Town.
“No financial institutions were interested in financing an upcoming business (and it’s also extremely difficult for a female-run business),” she explains.
“All the parties at Scania looked at my business from a different angle and believed in me. They looked at my CV, my background and my achievements and they gave me a chance – and I’m so grateful for it! It also helps that Scania offers its own in-house finance,” Van der Berg says.
“Scania was the only company interested in supporting my business. We negotiated a deal and my first two Scania G460 trucks were delivered in April 2016.”
Although Van der Berg had some experience with running a couple of Scanias for four years in her previous business (which, she says, made the brand one of her top choices for the new venture) it was thanks to this faith in her business that Scania eventually became family.
As Tradevest Logistics grew, it moved to offices in Somerset West and, in February, another two G460 Scanias were added to the fleet. Van der Berg says that any new large truck she buys will be a Scania.
“Because of the company’s openness and approach to human relations – such as the empathy shown towards its customers – we became family. It would be very difficult for me to move to another brand.
“For example, one of our vehicles had an accident in December and Scania suspended my service maintenance contract for a couple of months while the vehicle was being repaired, which saved me money. Whenever I need information, or have a problem, I can call, day or night. Spares are always available and aftersales service is excellent,” Van der Berg gloats.
As Van der Berg plans to expand the business into the citrus (it also works with cape fruit distributors), timber and fertiliser sectors, as well as consolidated freight, she is mindful of the challenges faced by women in the transport industry.
“The industry is very tough, and for a woman it’s challenging,” she says, offering advice to other women interested in transport. “The most important thing is to be knowledgeable – learning from and about the industry allows you to talk from an informed perspective. It’s matter of staying on top of things and being ahead.
“Having good human relations is the most important aspect of the business; the rest will follow,” she advises.
And that epitomises Van der Berg’s relationship with Scania.