Entrepreneurs are regarded as important cogs in the business chain, particularly in emerging economies. These entrepreneurs emerge sometimes during difficult economic times, come up with good ideas and make them happen. Ideas are generally a small part of their success; the rest is left to their ability to execute these ideas and build value into their businesses from day one.
Large companies, like Hino South Africa, have recognised the potential of many an entrepreneur and through their dealer network provide support and foster relationships with the various parties, culminating in the growth and success of these entrepreneurs.
Pieter Hamman, Managing Director of Freightcor Logistic Solutions, is an entrepreneur who can be justifiably proud of his success in the fuel transport business, starting from humble beginnings to becoming a stalwart in the Royale Energy Group of companies.
Trucks and transport have always been Hamman’s passion so, after resigning from his job with the South African Police Service in 2000, and ‘armed’ with a small pickup truck with a tanker/trailer combination he started distributing fuel from wholesale depots to smaller users operating as Action Fuels.
‘’From the outset, I worked day and night to provide a first-class service to my clients which created a high demand for my services, to the extent that Royale Energy found it difficult at times to supply fuel in the quantities I required,” explained Hamman.
“As the business grew I found the need for a larger vehicle, crucial to my business so I purchased an old Ford Louisville truck which I set about rebuilding in between doing my regular fuel deliveries. With this vehicle, I could increase my delivery volumes considerably which allowed me to look at expanding my business,” added Hamman.
A visit to the SA Truck and Bus Exhibition, at Auto Africa in 2003, set the stage for the future growth of Action Fuels. Pieter Hamman showed interest in the new Hino 700 which was being displayed for the first time at the show. The Hino Sales Executive, Piet Smit, concluded a deal with Action Fuels after the show and has remained at the forefront of all the Hino truck deals concluded with the company since that time.
Royale Energy and Action Fuels concluded a deal and merged their transport divisions into a Company called Freightcor Logistic Solutions in 2015. Today Freightcor has a fleet of 40 trucks in total consisting of tankers and tautliners and 17 is Hino 700’s.
Freightcor is a BEE level 2 company specialising in the transportation of fuel and other cargo. Royale Energy owns 70% and Hamman Family 30%.
Royale Energy is the biggest private fuel distribution company in South Africa which supplies some 35 million litres of fuel per month. With the merger, all the trucks previously with the other group companies have been placed under the Freightcor banner. Freightcor is involved in all aspects of the distribution process for the group, which now consists of five companies.
Primary distribution is the transportation of fuel from refineries, import terminals and depots to large customers. Secondary distribution is the transportation of fuel from inland terminals and depots to retail and smaller wholesale customers. The company currently transports petroleum products such as petrol, diesel, oil, illuminating paraffin and gas to retail sites, mines, and other wholesale customers.
“I have built Freightcor on very solid principles and one of them is being hands-on every inch of the way. I am extremely happy with the service from the Hino dealer in Vereeniging where good communication has been the key to establishing a sound working relationship over the years.
“I find the Hino trucks to be very reliable and easy to maintain even in the event of requiring roadside assistance. Problems are easily diagnosed and rectified, usually without the need for specialised diagnostic equipment. I can quite safely say that part of the success of my enterprise has definitely been the Hino brand,” says Hamman.
Freightcor ticks all the boxes when it comes to a dedicated transport company. Full tracking systems are fitted to every vehicle with the controllers monitoring the fleet 24/7. This goes together with an incentive programme for drivers, applied every 25 days where drivers are judged on fuel efficiency, neatness of vehicle and tyre wear/damage.
The driver training learnership programme is applied rigidly to all new employees before being allowed on the road. Hamman has found that the most effective method so far is to use the older Hino drivers, some of whom have been with the company for more than 10 years, to train the recruits. For a company whose fleet covers more than 400 000 km per month, this method has reduced the accident rate to a minimum. However, Freightcor employs four trainee drivers every second month and if successful they will move forward to a permanent driving position.
Freightcor is a success story for Pieter Hamman and with his entrepreneurial skills in the forefront of his endeavours, he concluded, “I feel that these are still early days for the company but with the backing that we have from the Royale Energy Group, we can build Freightcor into a major force in the transport industry, competing with the biggest and the best.”