A ground-breaking collaboration between IMPERIAL Logistics company North East Carriers (NEC) and client Lafarge has culminated in the launch of a new “tear drop” trailer that will set new standards for sustainable transportation in Africa.

NEC MD Johann Schreuder says that the new trailer design – which mimics the perfect aerodynamic lines of a natural teardrop – is expected to achieve fuel saving benefits of between 9 and 13%. In addition to this, the design also provides for increased payloads which translate into fewer vehicle trips, he states. The new trailers represent a partnership between NEC and Lafarge Gypsum South Africa, as well as MAN South Africa and SA Truck Bodies, and reflect the companies’ commitment to “greening” the African transport industry.

The launch of the new tear drop trailers follows the award by Lafarge Gypsum South Africa of a five-year primary distribution contract to NEC. Schreuder notes that the company is proud to be adding value to this partnership, with a tailor made transport solution that bolsters client Lafarge’s drive to reduce its carbon footprint. He adds: “We embarked on this journey with Lafarge Gypsum SA as our partner, and it has given us the opportunity not only to add value to their supply chain, but also to boost their operational excellence.”

The scope of NEC’s contract for Lafarge Gypsum SA includes all deliveries to the organisation’s branches and direct to customers. Schreuder says that R5.5 million has been invested by NEC in the dedicated fleet that will be branded in Lafarge Gypsum livery.

In addition to the development of the tear drop trailers, NEC has further enhanced its service offering to Lafarge Gypsum SA by increasing the fleet’s trailer capacity from the standard 34-ton tautliner trailers to 36-ton trailers, Schreuder says. NEC’s existing business with Lafarge Cement in South Africa means the carrier’s world-class safety standards have already earned the Lafarge Group’s stamp of approval, and he says Lafarge Gypsum SA will benefit from this long-standing association.

NEC’s well-established sub-contractor base will be a further boon for new client Lafarge Gypsum. “NEC will leverage its current sub-contractor base and accredited, dedicated sub-contractors to assist Lafarge Gypsum SA during peak periods, providing extra capacity when required to meet demand. NEC is committed to going the extra mile for clients, and it is through superior customer service that we aim to grow our market share in the current testing economic climate,” Schreuder concludes.