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Letsema-Transnova partnership to disrupt industry

03 June 2019

Letsema acquires 51% stake in leading, independent supply chain and logistics advisory firm.

South Africa’s traditional logistics companies rely on large, costly facilities and extensive transport fleets to service the country’s supply chain and logistics needs. An industry vital to South Africa’s economic performance and future growth, yet weighed down by costly overheads, the need for efficiency improvement and cost optimisation has never been greater.

Listed logistics companies with large asset bases are under continual pressure from internal stakeholders to achieve profitability. This means their first priority is not necessarily to seek the optimal supply chain solution for the client but always looking to enhance revenues, which often conflicts with the objectives of clients in reducing cost.

Transnova, an independent supply chain and logistics advisory firm, is challenging this business model. Transnova’s zero wheels-and-walls approach allows it to focus exclusively on solving its clients’ supply chain challenges and look for new opportunities for improved performance.

Technology is the enabler for Transnova, allowing its clients to access the best, most competitively priced service providers to move their freight, driving down costs and changing the way the industry is organised. Transnova manages these relationships on behalf of the client, guaranteeing high service levels and optimal daily delivery performance. With operations in South Africa, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya, Transnova has extensive experience in the design, implementation, operation and transfer of supply chain and logistics management solutions for a diversified client base that have complex supply chain problems to solve.

Transnova’s dedicated supply chain and logistics professionals leverage best-in-class technologies to support clients’ business goals, applying best practice in an evolving, global marketplace. This is achieved through exclusive relationships with leading global technology suppliers who all rank highly in the Gartner Magic Quadrant.

From offering strategic advisory services, designing fit-for-purpose supply chain and logistics solutions, to executing and managing those same solutions, Transnova offers clients an end-to-end partnership. As an asset-free partner, transparency is an integral part of how Transnova works with its clients. Its open-book costing model and shared-risk approach guarantees client-centric objective delivery as determined by the client.

Transnova’s relationship with Letsema stretches back to 2005, when Letsema Chairman and Founder, Isaac Shongwe, met Eric Gower-Winter, Carsten Schubert and Neil Larkens, who co-founded Transnova seven years later. Letsema’s acquisition of a 51% stake in Transnova is fulfilment of an ambition they shared with one another all those years ago. Isaac Shongwe, Chairman and Founder of Letsema, says: “This partnership is particularly special for me as I worked with the team that founded Transnova during our shared period at Barloworld Logistics, which I lead at the time. We often spoke of our shared ambition to build an asset-free, zero wheels-and-walls logistics and supply chain business. Today, together, we can now fulfil that ambition.”

“We are humbled to welcome the Transnova team into the Letsema family. We certainly consider ourselves lucky to be able to partner with quality people and operators such as them.” For Transnova, Letsema represents a partner that shares their ambitions and values, offers complimentary supply chain expertise within its executive and consulting business, Letsema Consulting, and who want to enhance Transnova’s vision to be the outstanding, independent, African-owned supply chain advisory firm on the continent.

The founders of Transnova are hugely excited by the partnership with Letsema. They say: “Transnova has had an unbroken and fruitful relationship with Isaac and Letsema for almost 15 years. We share the same values and ambitions, trust one another and understand the value of independence. Long term partnerships are a fundamental part of Transnova’s DNA, so it is with much excitement that we strengthen our already deep partnership with Letsema as we look to blend our complimentary skillsets to build a substantial business together going forward.” The new partnership will see both companies blend capabilities in consulting, technology, technical diagnosis and operational management. Through Transnova, clients will now be able to have visibility and control of their own supply chains with a partner motivated to offer real value through its pragmatic approach to client partnerships.

To view a CNBC interview with both Carsten Schubert and Isaac Shongwe, click on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyldZvcI9DY