WHAT IS happening to the Western Cape Cargo Owners Association? This question was asked in FTW's August 30 article on the sister - but larger in volume representation - association, the SA Shippers Council.
It has changed its name for one thing, said Cargo Owners' chairman, Colin Schultz, of Cape Town harbour's largest, individual cargo mover, SA Nylon Spinners. You can drop the Western Cape part of the name, for a start, as we now also have members in Gauteng and in Durban. Schultz suggests that the association doesn't need to blow a trumpet - its activities are investigative, informative and advisory, but also quietly done.
In this voluntary and unpaid group of concerned importers and exporters the main task is: To maintain contact with various relevant organisations and keep our ears to the ground, Schultz added. The prime thing is to be involved in, and be cognisant of what is happening, in the market - PLUS be an interested member of the port liaison meetings held in Cape Town with Portnet. Out of this listening guise, the association keeps its members informed by newsletter, and, often, personal contact.
We are an advisory body, said Schultz. If someone has a problem, they can come to us. We will find out what is happening, and do what we can to overcome it.
Our purpose is to achieve a smooth movement of cargo right throughout the system. No complaints have been heard yet from Cape Town (or elsewhere), and the association certainly played its role as part of the liaison body which handled the busy times at the harbour last year - and coped relatively well.
We are aware of the daily hiccups, Schultz finished, and are ready to react immediately.