| TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |TOTAL COSTS OF LOGISTICS                    IN SOUTH AFRICA NEED TO BE REDUCED                   ...
| TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |It is accepted today that a competitive net-       Our country is by far rated the highest in    ...
| TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |MULTI-MILLION RAND RESEARCH TO DESIGN BETTER,DURABLE ROADSRoads contribute to regional cohesion b...
| TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |Between 2006 and 2020, the South African           as the southern African region, and comparedgo...
| TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |             R1 047 trillion         =           value of SA’s road network             R100 bill...
| TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |BAD ROADSIMPACT ON CONSUMERS         AND HAMPER ECONOMYThe increase in internal logistics costs d...
| TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |                                                                                                 ...
| TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |Case study                                         Table 2: Summary of potential increases due to...
| TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |                                                                                      Chanel Scho...
>                                                                               >                          >              ...
| TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS | Table 1: Impact of extra kilometres on two secondary DCs in a typical week                      ...
| TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |ULTRA-THIN CONCRETE– strong, affordable roads of the future?Traditionally, the costs of using con...
| TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |“The ultra-thin concrete road construction method is labour-intensive                  High-volum...
| TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |“The ultra-high strength cement consists of Portland cement mixedwith steel and polypropylene fib...
| TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |IMPROVEDPERFORMANCE OFHEAVY VEHICLESON OUR ROADSCSIR research hasshown that roadwear and costsass...
| TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |“Typical challenges of heavy vehicle                 Table 1: Summary of performance outcomes of ...
| TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |CSIR system contributes toWELL-MAINTAINED BRIDGESRoads and bridges usually compete for the same ‘...
| TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |Most of South Africa’s bridges are ‘short’, less   BMS. The system is used in Mpumalanga,        ...
| TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |WORLD-FIRST SYSTEMPREVENTS DERAILMENTSCAUSED BY RAIL BREAKSAn SA-developed system that can effect...
| TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |Field tests of the Rail Break Alarm System are being conducted by the project team               ...
| TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |WEIGHBRIDGESREDUCE OVERLOADING OFHEAVY VEHICLESOverloading does not only cause considerabledamage...
| TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |pared with those since 2002 due to the rela-tively small sample sizes prior to 2002 (lessthan 50 ...
| TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |   South Africa’s traffic-related                                                                ...
2.2 ss be_transport&logistics_chap1
2.2 ss be_transport&logistics_chap1
2.2 ss be_transport&logistics_chap1
2.2 ss be_transport&logistics_chap1
2.2 ss be_transport&logistics_chap1
2.2 ss be_transport&logistics_chap1
2.2 ss be_transport&logistics_chap1
2.2 ss be_transport&logistics_chap1
2.2 ss be_transport&logistics_chap1
2.2 ss be_transport&logistics_chap1
2.2 ss be_transport&logistics_chap1
2.2 ss be_transport&logistics_chap1
2.2 ss be_transport&logistics_chap1
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2.2 ss be_transport&logistics_chap1

  1. 1. | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |TOTAL COSTS OF LOGISTICS IN SOUTH AFRICA NEED TO BE REDUCED BY HANS W ITTMANNWorldwide, the logistics sector suffered from the effects of the economic downturn the pastyear or two. This forced those involved to reconsider the entire way in which supply chainsare designed and managed.Almost everything we use these days has CSIR research in supply chain management The logistics fraternity in South Africa needs tobeen moved by a freight operator – be it the is aimed at improving the overriding goal and serve consumers inside the country while anfood on our plate, the pen with which we objective of every chain – to transport, distri- increasing number of local companies alsowrite or the clothes we wear. Logistics – bute and move products and services ever operate in the global market place. In bothor supply chain management – is the term closer to final consumption in a more cost- instances, it is critical to operate supply chainsused widely to describe the transport, storage effective way, adding value in the process. as efficiently and effectively as possible,and handling of these products as they move This requires dedication, creativity and inno- keeping logistics costs as low as possiblealong the chain from the raw material source, vation by all parties involved. while also providing quality service.through the production system to their finalpoint of sale or consumption. Effective, effi- Some years ago, the Foundation for the Given the long distances in the country andcient and predictable movement of goods are Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award the fact that the main economic activity inimportant and contribute to economic growth. conducted a survey in the USA among chief South Africa is concentrated in the centre of executive officers, which revealed an almost the country (in Gauteng), the reality is thatSupply chains include all the activities, link- unanimous agreement that globalisation was internal logistics costs are higher. Our geo-ages, information exchanges and relationships becoming a major challenge. Furthermore, graphical location also disadvantages Southformed by all those who choose to work reducing costs and improving global supply Africa when competing in the global markettogether in these chains; some chains being chain performance were a top priority. place. The pressure is therefore even morevery complex. severe on logistics efficiencies and costs. S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 4
  2. 2. | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |It is accepted today that a competitive net- Our country is by far rated the highest in creased to an all time low of 7.7% of GDP.work of global logistics is the backbone of Africa and – excluding high-income countries The local situation with freight is exactly theinternational trade. Many countries have not such as Germany and the USA – it is among same as the past number of years. Totalbenefitted from this. The recently-published the 10 most significant over-performers. Based freight in 2008 increased slightly with 2%World Bank Report on the topic of trade on the income of the country, South Africa is or 32 million tons, with all growth being onlogistics competitiveness emphasises this: actually over-performing from a logistics point road again. This is not ideal; not only is this“Improving logistics performance has become of view. Other over-performing countries the main contributor to high transportationan important development policy objective in include China and India. This is very encour- costs, but heavy vehicles are damaging ourrecent years because logistics have a major aging. road infrastructure. Various efforts over theimpact on economic activity.” Furthermore, past few years have not had the desired“The importance of efficient logistics for trade The ‘in-country’ logistics costs as a percentage effect of getting some freight back onto rail.and growth is now widely acknowledged. of gross domestic product (GDP) for SouthAnalysis based on the 2007 LPI or similar Africa are presented in the most recent 6th Freight also contributes to congestion oninformation has shown that better logistics State of LogisticsTM survey published jointly our road networks. The recent upgrades ofperformance is strongly associated with trade by the CSIR, Stellenbosch University and roads in the main metros across the countryexpansion, export diversification, ability to IMPERIAL Logistics. The total logistics costs will alleviate this congestion. However,attract foreign direct investments, and eco- in South Africa for 2008 was R339 billion – CSIR research found that the effect of badnomic growth.” an increase of 6.9% on the 2007 amount of roads, mainly the secondary roads in the R317 billion; the logistics costs as a percen- country, has a substantial effect on increas-The South African government’s policies are tage of the GDP are 14.7%, which is the ing maintenance and repair costs of freightgeared towards the country becoming a lowest it has been since the first survey in trucks and vehicles, adding to higher logis-player in the global marketplace. What holds 2004. tics costs.true for international trade is also valid, to alarge extent, for internal trade within a coun- Although these numbers are seemingly mov- Logistics and supply chains are integraltry. The World Bank Report shows that South ing in the right direction, they need to be parts of the economy of a country. ForAfrica is ranked 28th out of 155 countries on analysed carefully in order to understand South Africa to be reckoned as a player inthe world logistics performance index with a which factors are driving this percentage the global marketplace, the logistics andscore of 3.46. The actual score has de- down. Compared to other countries, the logis- supply chain management environmentcreased from 3.53 and South Africa is down tics costs as a percentage of GDP are still high will have to improve continuously tofrom 24th in 2007. This trend is obviously a – in the USA, the percentage for 2008 was further reduce costs and stay abreast ofconcern. 9.4% while for 2009, the percentage de- new developments to improve our country’s competitiveness. Enquiries: Hans W Ittmann hittmann@csir.co.za S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 5
  3. 3. | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |MULTI-MILLION RAND RESEARCH TO DESIGN BETTER,DURABLE ROADSRoads contribute to regional cohesion byplaying a prominent role in the geographicdistribution of economic growth and wealth.Generally, zones with high job densities arelocated near major road arteries because Dr James Maina was recentlyof the businesses need for easy access to awarded the coveted JD Roberts award for 2010. The award issuppliers, customers and employees. made by Murray & Roberts in collaboration with the CSIR. The award is made annually within the built environment area in recognition of competitive and environmentally-sustainable solutions to human dilemmas. It encourages scientific research into technology that will enhance the quality of life of all South Africans. S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 6
  4. 4. | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |Between 2006 and 2020, the South African as the southern African region, and comparedgovernment will invest more than R63 billion well with the best in the world.for the development and maintenance of thecountrys road network. Roads are expen- “The outdated and inaccurate models used forsive – to construct 1 km of road can cost as calculating materials strength and responsesmuch as R25 million. due to loading have rendered important parts of the SAPDM obsolete and in dire need of“The majority of South Africa’s national serious revision and updating,” explainsroad network is older than 25 years, which Maina. The depletion of appropriate virginexceeds the design life of the roads, and, road construction materials as well as publicalthough well maintained, the national road opposition to aggregate mining and to land-network is experiencing unprecedented high filling have also led to problems in the use oftraffic volumes. For example, recent data materials not catered for by the currentshow that the N3 has carried the equivalent SAPDM and guideline documents.of 20 years of traffic in a period of twoyears,” notes Dr James Maina, a CSIR chief “We need an advanced system that willresearcher. enable national, provincial and municipal governments to properly design and effectively“Further, over the past 10 years, the provincial maintain and protect the road systems that areand municipal road network has deteriorated put in place at a very high cost to tax-payers.”dramatically, not only because of mainte- The South African National Roads Agency Ltdnance neglect due to insufficient funding, but (SANRAL) has started a comprehensive studyalso because of increases in traffic volumes aimed at evaluating and updating the currentand axle loads,” he says. Maina specialises in SAPDM. “In view of increased prematurepavement engineering, with ‘pavement’ being road failures and associated traffic conges-the term used for roads that are paved. tion, the benefit-cost ratio of the project isPoor conditions of the South African road net- expected to be significant,” says Maina, the main project leader. The research, develop- “Recent datawork – particularly the occurrence of potholes– have led to safety hazards and increaseduser costs. In addition, saturation of the road ment and implementation will require a substantial financial investment, with SANRAL committing more than R50 million and the show thatnetwork capacity has resulted in unprece-dented traffic jams with increased fuel con- CSIR providing more than R10 million. the N3 hassumption and transportation costs as wellas lost production time. According to the Auto- “An additional complication is a plethora of different road design methods and test proto- carried themobile Association of South Africa, thesefactors have a combined estimated cost of cols currently being used to cater for deficien- cies in the current SAPDM. The use of some equivalent of 20 yearsabout R200 billion a year to the economy. of these methods may lead to costly designs and/or failures, and with increasing entryThe current South African road pavement of consultants from abroad to the market, thedesign method (SAPDM) is based mainlyon technologies and material performance situation is likely to worsen,” notes Maina. of traffic inmodels developed by the CSIR and collabo-rators during the 1970s and 1980s. The SAPDM guideline documents, test protocols and equipment for new design and rehabilita- a period ofSAPDM has formed the backbone of roaddesign methods used in South Africa, as well tion investigation will be modified in light of new information generated by this project. two years.” S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 7
  5. 5. | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS | R1 047 trillion = value of SA’s road network R100 billion = SA road maintenance backlog R32 billion = annual road maintenance need The project will draw from a large body of R9.2 billion = current maintenance expenditure current expertise while also creating new knowledge. The CSIR’s international research collaborators in this project include the univer-The new SAPDM will protect the multi-billion SAPDM framework had been prepared and sities of California Davis, California Berkeley,rand investment in the South African transport made available for input, all parties involved Illinois and Calgary. “The collaboration willinfrastructure through improvement of the qua- in teaching, designing, construction, manag- provide the opportunity to calibrate and verifylity of road pavement design by the local road ing and maintaining road pavements have a the accuracy, reliability and validity of labora-industry. Pavement behaviour is a complex stake in the revision of the SAPDM.” tory models using actual field data,” Mainaresearch field, as roads consist of a number notes.of layers with distinct material properties. Users concur that the new SAPDM should“Resilient responses and damage models of have the following characteristics: The procedure for applying the new SAPDMindividual layers are very difficult to assess n It should be a single, innovative, affordable will entail the following:within the holistic response of the road. The and accessible South African national de- n A designer will select a road pavementkey to proper design of roads and their subse- sign tool; type, develop a trial design and providequent maintenance is the ability to understand n It must promote a uniform, risk-based analy- traffic load, system geometry, material pa-the macroscopic behaviour of materials when sis and design method; rameters and climate data.subjected to traffic loading under varying n It will replace all other outdated design n The SAPDM software will estimate the da-environmental conditions,” Maina comments. tools and methods; mage using mechanistic analysis tools and n It will combine deterministic (mechanistic- predict key failures over the road design-lifeThe updated SAPDM will facilitate the analy- empirical) and performance-based (empiri- using field-calibrated performance models.sis of the current road network condition as a cal) approaches; n The road design will then be verifiedpreventative maintenance process. Roads n It will cater for both novice and expert against the performance criteria and mayapproaching the end of their design lives will users; be modified as needed to meet perform-be identified timeously, allowing early light n It will be applicable to all types of roads, ance and reliability requirements.rehabilitation instead of total (and more from low-volume roads in rural areas tocostly) reconstruction. high-volume urban roads and freeways; “Our aim is to package the solution into a and user-friendly format by 2011/12, with techno-The SAPDM will cater for different levels of n It will enable the optimum use of scarce, logy transfer to local industry being part of theexpertise and design complexity, covering natural non-renewable resources, while also project. The major vehicle for disseminatinga broad spectrum of roads ranging from accelerating the use of waste material and research results will be the Road Pavementnational roads to light structures for rural renewable resources. Forum, a biannual meeting of leaders in theaccess and urban mobility. road delivery industry in South Africa. Train- “The SAPDM will be a web-based software ing, together with the adoption of the new“We are confident that, once finalised, the application available to the industry through SAPDM as a standard road pavement designupdated and refined SAPDM will be adopted membership registration, managed by SAN- method, will start in South Africa and may beacross the board as the primary national tool RAL with technical support from the CSIR. At extended to the Southern African Develop-for road pavement design. User requirements the core of the new SAPDM will be advanced ment Community and the African continent,”have been obtained from national, provincial constitutive models for road construction mate- Maina concludes. – Hilda van Rooyenand municipal road authorities, the local con- rials, and software for numerical modelling tosulting industry as well as research and aca- simulate responses of roads when subjected to Enquiries:demic institutions. This project will address various environmental and traffic loading con- Dr James Mainauser needs, wants and preferences directly. ditions.” j jmaina@csir.co.zaDue to the inclusive manner in which the new S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 8
  6. 6. | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |BAD ROADSIMPACT ON CONSUMERS AND HAMPER ECONOMYThe increase in internal logistics costs due to inadequate road conditions is experiencedby most, if not all transportation companies. This figure can potentially add up to amassive increase in the logistics costs of a country. As the logistics costs increase, thecosts of products in the global marketplace increase, placing an added burden on theconsumer and having devastating effects on the global competitiveness of that country. Increased maintenance and repair costs lead to increased vehicle operating costs for transport operators. Worsening road conditions could also result in increased vehicle vibrations, which could translate into increased damages to transported cargo. “When trans- porting goods on roads with deteriorating riding quality, the transport operator has to increase transport tariffs due to the higher operating costs. Consequently, the price of products may increase – the increased transportation costs are either absorbed by the seller or, by us, the consumer,” comments the CSIR’s Wilna Bean. She undertook a case study with former CSIR colleague and now professor in civil engineering at the University of Pretoria, Wynand Steyn. S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 9
  7. 7. | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS | Wilna Bean, an industrial engineer at the CSIRThe researchers looked at three ways of try- Table 1: Summary of vehicle maintenance and repair costs for routes with different IRIsing to overcome increased product prices:n Improved packaging of transported pro- Company Route information Average Road Average ducts. This will increase the total packag- IRI condition maintenance ing costs of the manufacturer, again (m/km) rating and repair resulting in costs to the consumer. It could costs (R/km) also lead to an increase in non-renewable packaging material used, with a resultant A Gauteng to Durban (N3) 2.7 Good 1.01 negative effect on the environment. Gauteng to Cape Town (N1) 3.6 Fair 1.30n Improved vehicles for transporting pro- ducts will decrease damages to trans- ported cargo and vehicles that could B Gauteng to Durban (N3) 2.7 Good 0.90 withstand conditions of bad roads. This Gauteng to Nelspruit (N4) 2.9 Fair 0.82 will have to be applied to all vehicles used for transporting cargo, having Gauteng to Witbank (N12) 3.4 Fair 1.27 massive cost implications for transport Gauteng to Rustenburg (N4) 3.3 Fair 1.04 operators. Gauteng to Richardsbay (N17 and N2) 3.6 Fair 1.31n The obvious option is to improve and maintain the condition of roads in South Johannesburg to Vereeniging (R82) 3.6 Fair 1.57 Africa. This would provide the best long- Gauteng to Cape Town (N12 and N1) 3.6 Fair 1.29 term solution, addressing the root of the Gauteng to Botswana (N4) 3.9 Fair 1.35 problem. The costs of road maintenance are high, so one will have to investigate Newcastle to Gauteng (N11 and N17) 4.2 Bad 2.09 the economic feasibility of this option. Gauteng to construction sites 4.3 Bad 2.13 S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 10
  8. 8. | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |Case study Table 2: Summary of potential increases due to worsening road conditions“To oversimplify, our case study indicated a Road Average maintenance Average % increase in Average % increase condition and repair costs truck maintenance in companypotential percentage increase in maintenance (R/km) and repair costs logistics costsand repair costs of up to 120% per year for atruck travelling on a good road compared to Good R0.96 - -a bad one!” Bean says. Fair R1.24 30.24% 2.49%Bean and Steyn conducted a case study attwo operating companies of a large logistics Bad R2.11 120.94% 9.97%service provider in South Africa. Company Atransports cargo mainly on national roads,whereas company B transports cargo on both and provided a database of actual mainte- total logistics costs, as well as the averageprimary and secondary roads. Data were nance and repair costs for a specific period. percentage increase in truck maintenance andused to compare the effects of good and bad Company B provided a database of its actual repair costs to derive the average percentageroads on vehicle maintenance and repair maintenance and repair costs for a fleet of increase in company logistics costs. The esti-costs, with Company A’s data also used to 577 trucks over a comparable period, operat- mated maintenance costs of company A var-look at the effect of increased vehicle mainte- ing on a range of roads in South Africa. Both ied between 7.48 and 9.01% of total logisticsnance and repair costs on the total logistics companies used similar trucks to ensure that costs, during the specified time periods.costs of the company. the route and the IRI are the only significant difference in the analysis.” “The increase in truck repair and maintenance“Our analysis provides an indication of the costs due to deteriorating road conditionspotential effects of bad roads – the results “The results show that a truck travelling from could lead to an increase of around 10% inand findings are not absolutes, since limited Newcastle to Gauteng (300 km) has mainte- the total logistics costs of a company,” saysdata were available. Other factors could also nance and repair costs of R627 per trip. A Bean.influence logistics costs, such as the increase similar truck from the same company travellingin vehicle operating costs and cargo damages on a stretch of the N3 between Gauteng and Other costs that could be linked to deteriorat-due to road works and congestion,” stresses Durban (also 300 km) will have maintenance ing road quality are increased vehicle operat-Bean. and repair costs of only R270 per trip. The ing costs, increased fuel consumption, total maintenance and repair costs of the first increased cargo damages and increased vehi-‘Roughness indices’ are single values used to truck amount to R125 400 per year, while it cle design and manufacturing costs.quantify the roughness level of a specific road. will be R54 000 for the second truck.”These indices are calculated using mathemati- Results obtained from the analyses indicatecal equations and measured road profiles. Impact on total logistics costs that the potential effect of deteriorating roadThe International Roughness Index (IRI) is a “We did another analysis to investigate the quality on vehicle maintenance and repairwidely-used, standardised measurement of the potential impact of the increase in vehicle costs and the total logistics costs of a com-roughness qualities that impact vehicle re- maintenance and repair costs on the total lo- pany, is significant. “It is therefore vital thatsponse. The IRI of a good road should be gistics costs of a company. Additional data stakeholders become aware of the potentialbelow 2.7. were obtained from company A for two peri- negative impacts of bad roads to ensure that ods between January and June 2008 and sufficient attention is given to timely and“We compared the IRI of roads, as well as the 2009. The particular data for this analysis proper maintenance of roads,” Beanrepair and maintenance costs of vehicles of were the total vehicle maintenance and repair concludes. – Hilda van Rooyenthe two companies travelling on those specific costs and the logistics costs of the companyroutes. Company A identified 10 trucks from for the two time periods. We used the esti- Enquiries:its fleet, travelling mostly on the same route mated maintenance costs as a percentage of Wilna Bean wbean@csir.co.za S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 11
  9. 9. | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS | Chanel SchoemanEliminating extra kilometresresults in extra cost savingsDue to the competitive nature of the fast-moving consumer industry, companiesactively pursue continuous improvement opportunities. The drive towards envi-ronmental preservation makes it imperative for such improvement opportunities tobe eco-friendly. In this context, the CSIR, Cardiff University and IMPERIAL Logisticsundertook a case study to assess the causes and impact of extra kilometres on thesupply chain. S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 12
  10. 10. > > > > > | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS | Figure 1: Total kilometres travelled as the sum of value-added and extra kilometres Extra kilometres = non-value adding kilometres run within a distribution network, i.e. the difference between the number of kilometres vehicles actually run and those they could have travelled if planning was perfect and no unforeseen disruptions (uncertainties) interfered. No disturbances Planned = or disruptions actual km Value-added km Disturbances Actual - planned or disruptions km > 0 Non value-added km ‘Extra km’ Total km travelledThe study analysed the uncertainties that tive advantage as consumers and regulation SA case studycaused extra kilometres and investigated the start demanding greener products and manu- Following the UK study, the CSIR and Cardiffenvironment (green) as well as the bottom-line facturing practices,” explains CSIR researcher University set out to identify the causes of un-(gold) effects of these extra kilometres, with Chanel Schoeman, who specialises in supply- certainties and to quantify the consequencesthe aim of informing better supply-chain chain analysis. of these in terms of resulting extra kilometresdecisions. in the supply chain of a major food chain “When transport planning is based on accu- company in South Africa.With transport being a substantial contributor rate and timely information on the volumes toto green house gases, supply chains can be moved, and no operational failures disrupt “We applied the concept of extra kilometreshave a significant effect on sustainability by the delivery process, one can cut down on the to the company’s distribution centres (DCs)analysing the causes and measuring the ‘extra kilometres’ aspect,” notes Schoeman. servicing over 200 stores throughout theimpact of variables (such as extra kilometres) country. We gathered the extra kilometrethat influence resource usage (e.g. fuel) and “We can describe the economic impact of data from distance-based archival data andemissions. these extra kilometres in terms of additional focused on the two major DCs in Johannes- fuel needed to complete a delivery, and the burg and Cape Town. A week in JanuaryThe perception persists that transforming to environmental impact in terms of more CO2 2009 was selected, which represented aa sustainable, green supply chain results in emissions produced. From previous research typical or average week and a fair sample ofreduced profit margins by increasing the cost by Cardiff University in the United Kingdom what happens over a period of one year,”burden faced with new eco-friendly equipment (UK), we realised that the difference between says Schoeman.and technologies, and additional process the ideal and the actual kilometres run wasmeasures. caused by various uncertainties that impact on Detailed information was captured on trips the sustainable performance of the supply that contained extra kilometre incidents. This“The drive towards green supply chains chain. The main causes of transport uncer- included store location; kilometres run; extrashouldn’t be seen as a financial burden – tainty in the UK studies were identified as de- kilometre source; and visible cause. Incidentsoptimally managed resources, energy and lays within the supply chain; variable demand were categorised according to their causeswaste reduction have decreasing cost implica- and inaccurate forecasting; lack of supply and quantified. The week’s extra kilometretions which speak directly to the bottom-line. chain coordination; and delivery restrictions.” data were extrapolated to annual estimates,Green strategies can also provide a competi- and used to perform risk assessments. S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 13
  11. 11. | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS | Table 1: Impact of extra kilometres on two secondary DCs in a typical week Johannesburg Cape Town Overall Total kilometres run 172 000 km 35 000 km 207 000 km Extra kilometres 11 538 km 1 605 km 13 143 km % Extra kilometres 6.71% 4.59% 6.35% Costs of extra kilometres R149 994 R20 865 R170 859 Kg of CO2 due to extra kilometres 18 100 kg 2 500 kg 20 600 kgImpact of extra kilometres source of extra kilometres found and the extra kilometre source is caused by inaccu-The overall impact of extra kilometres on the most frequent source. It was responsible rate volume forecasts, the product demandtwo secondary DCs in a typical week is sum- for 287 560 extra kilometres annually, forecast process needs to be revised.marised in Table 1. resulting in 8 663 kg of CO2 pollution. According to the staff involved, this occurs Following the study’s recommendations, the“Based on these findings, we estimated primarily due to inaccurate demand fore- client has taken steps to ensure routing andthat the extra, non-value adding kilometres ac- casting of volumes to be moved, which is scheduling processes remain dynamic andcount for more than R8.88 million additional managed by the client. optimised. They implemented new softwarecosts and 1 071 additional tons of CO2 pollu- that enables them to measure – on a continu-tion in one year,” notes Schoeman. “We measured risk in terms of outcome and ous basis – the actual kilometres undertaken probability – if the frequency of an event was against those planned.The study found the two main causes of extra low but its outcome could have a highly-detri-kilometres to be DC failures (any event that mental impact on the supply chain, the occur- “Our extra kilometre assessment can be usedcauses the shipment not to be ready at the rence of such an event represented a as a diagnostic tool in other transport opera-DC according to the transport schedule) and considerable risk to the supply chain. Due to tions to increase transport efficiency withinshort-notice volume increases from clients (last the high impact and medium probability of distribution networks in terms of extra kilome-minute, additional stock requests by grocery occurrence, both these sources of extra tres or unnecessary vehicle usages. It can alsoretail stores). Together these account for more kilometres constituted a high risk and needed be used to determine the causes of unneces-than 90% of the extra kilometres. to be monitored and controlled closely,” sary kilometres and estimate the risk that these Schoeman warns. represent. In this way, a more explicit link canThe extra kilometres resulting from the two be made between supply chain uncertaintymain causes are: n One DC failure incident generates on ave- and deviations in transport performance,”n DC failures were the largest source of extra rage 185 extra kilometres and occurs about Schoeman concludes. – Hilda van Rooyen kilometres (345 696 extra kilometres annu- five times a day. The picking process in the ally) and therefore additional CO2 pollution DC should therefore be evaluated and re-engineered to reduce this extra kilometre Enquiries: (10 415 kg). According to the staff in- source. Chanel Schoeman volved, this is caused by delays due to a cmschoeman@csir.co.za shortage of staff to pick the products. n One short-notice increase in volume incidentn Short-notice volume increases (mostly in originates on average 142 kilometres and long-life products) were the second major also happens some five times a day. As this S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 14
  12. 12. | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |ULTRA-THIN CONCRETE– strong, affordable roads of the future?Traditionally, the costs of using concrete instead of conventional material likeasphalt in road construction are prohibitive. Concrete is, however, far moredurable, rendering roads with an expected lifespan of up to 40 years comparedto 25 years for conventional roads. With increasing oil and bitumen prices,concrete has also become a more competitive road building material. The CSIR has been involved with the development of specialised, ultra-thin concrete technology ideally suited for labour-based construction. Stringent testing and field trial evaluation resulted in the development of two different types for different applications, one for low-volume roads (typically residential streets) and the other for high-volume highway applications. Low-volume roads After seeing the research results, the Gauteng Provincial Department of Roads and Transport (GPDRT) decided to use this concrete technology during its Expanded Public Works Programme for the upgrading of unsealed residential streets. “The ultra-thin (50 mm thick), reinforced con- crete technology with a steel mesh inside has been piloted in roads in Mamelodi, AtteridgevilleRafeek Louw at anultra-thin concrete and Soshanguve. Authorities in KwaZulu-Natal have subsequently also expressed their interest inroad constructed in piloting this concrete road technology. For roads carrying low volumes of traffic this is an idealMamelodi technology,” explains Rafeek Louw of the CSIR. S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 15
  13. 13. | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |“The ultra-thin concrete road construction method is labour-intensive High-volume roadsand requires only light equipment, thus providing meaningfulemployment to local communities and small contractors. Based on Simultaneously, CSIR engineers investigated the use of ultra-thin con-current experience, about 14 times more jobs are created than crete technology for application in high-volume roads. “We used theduring conventional asphalt road construction,” he says. CSIR-developed heavy vehicle simulator (HVS) to test the technology for use in both low and high-volume roads,” explains Louw du Plessis,On urban and low-volume roads the existing material could be used who is regarded internationally as an expert in accelerated pavementdepending on the test results. A stabilising agent may be needed to (road) testing.modify the material before the new concrete technology is appliedon top. This leads to much shorter construction times, as well as no The original road design idea was imported by the South African Na-damage to underground services such as sewerage and water infra- tional Roads Agency Ltd (SANRAL) from Denmark. In conjunction withstructure. Using the in situ material, you don’t have the additional the University of Pretoria, the Cement and Concrete Institute, localtransportation costs of bringing in other construction materials and consultants and the CSIR, the technology was adapted for local con-carting away excavated material.” ditions. The HVS played an instrumental part in testing the final design and fast tracking the implementation of this technology.Such roads provide an all-weather surface and improve the lives ofcommunities along the roads by curbing dust, providing direct access “For application in high-volume roads, we reinforce the ultra-thin con-to residential areas and reducing damage to vehicles. “The research crete considerably – seven times more steel is used than ordinary con-we conducted in collaboration with the University of Pretoria and the tinuously-reinforced concrete.GPDRT established that these ultra-thin concrete roads will requireminimal maintenance, resulting in reduced life-cycle costs and lessdisruption to road users,” comments Louw.He says that the ultra-thin concrete technology has application be-yond roads. “The community can use it on side-walks or for pavingaround their homes.” The CSIR is currently testing the technology in alow-income housing project as a single, continuous foundation slab toeliminate cracked walls resulting from sub-standard foundations (seearticle on page 50). Louw du Plessis with a heavy vehicle simulator S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 16
  14. 14. | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |“The ultra-high strength cement consists of Portland cement mixedwith steel and polypropylene fibres, and an ultra-fine filler, givingthe cement paste a packing density similar to ceramic and glass.Compressive strengths are up to four times higher than normalconcrete paste,” Du Plessis notes.Construction of high-volume roads with a high labour content is possi-ble using this technology where no special tools or machinery is re-quired other than a mixer and ordinary concrete compaction tools.“Due to a high rate of strength gain, roads can be opened to trafficwithin one day – conventional concrete roads need a minimum ofseven days. In addition, ultra-thin concrete roads meet all require-ments to ensure a safe road surface under all conditions and have alife expectancy in excess of 30 years.”“During road rehabilitation, minimum bridge clearance standardsmust be maintained. Traditionally, deep dig-outs under bridges arerequired but with the 50 mm ultra-thin concrete technology, thisposes no problem. Looking at total life-cycle costs, this technologyalso offers a cheaper alternative to conventional road maintenance,”Du Plessis says. HEAVY VEHICLEAfter intensive research, development and testing, the adapted con-crete technology is being implemented by SANRAL. Current rehabili- SIMULATOR (HVS)tation projects using ultra-thin concrete include a section of the N12near the Gilloolys interchange and an apron at Oliver Tambo Interna- The HVS machine is used to simulate the damage causedtional Airport. In the Western Cape, the technology has been used on by heavy traffic to road structures. Researchers simulatethe N1 freeway between the Klip River Toll Plaza and up to and after traffic volumes experienced over 20 years within a shortthe Huguenot Tunnel. “Initial results from these projects are very posi-tive,” Du Plessis concludes. period of up to three months. This accelerated road-testing facility was developed and upgraded Enquiries: by the CSIR and its technology and commercialisation partner, Low-volume roads High-volume roads and HVS Dynatest, over the past four decades. The latest model, the HVS Rafeek Louw Louw du Plessis Mk VI, has numerous advantages over its predecessor, including rlouw@csir.co.za lplessis@csir.co.za reduced costs, weight and complexity, increased wheel speed, test beam length, and improved mobility when towed on public roads. The HVS is a high-tech field laboratory, using unique instruments to measure and analyse the engineering performance of road struc- tures and material layers. In South Africa, two HVS machines are in operation – one is owned by the CSIR and the other by the Gauteng Provincial Department of Roads and Transport (GPDRT). In conjunction with supported laboratory testing facilities, the HVS technology development pro- gramme has achieved remarkable success to advance pavement engineering and the basic understanding of pavement material behaviour in South Africa. According to GPDRT studies, the quanti- fiable direct benefits of the HVS programme are significant – at a discount rate of 8%, between R3 and R6 are returned for every R1 invested in the HVS programme. The HVS has found its way to countries including the USA, Sweden, China and India. Research using the HVS has also been conducted in Sweden, Slovenia and Poland. Ten of these machines are now in operation worldwide, with another MkVI on order for a client in the USA. The international HVS programme has generated foreign income for South Africa of more than R200 million over the past 18 years. It is a proudly home-grown success story of quality research, technology development and sound commercial decision-making. – Hilda van Rooyen S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 17
  15. 15. | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |IMPROVEDPERFORMANCE OFHEAVY VEHICLESON OUR ROADSCSIR research hasshown that roadwear and costsassociated withheavy vehiclescan be reduced,while increasingsafety and pro-ductivity, andlowering vehicleemissions.Paul Nordengen, who leadsCSIR research in network assetmanagement systems in theroads and transport sectors S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 18
  16. 16. | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |“Typical challenges of heavy vehicle Table 1: Summary of performance outcomes of two PBS demonstration vehicles in forestry comparedoperations in South Africa include the high with baseline heavy vehiclesrate of crashes; vehicle overloading, whichaccelerates the deterioration of our roads; PERFORMANCE INDICATOR MEASURED RESULT OF PBS VEHICLEScongestion; and high logistics costs,” says PaulNordengen of the CSIR. “The past 10 years Tons transported per month Average increase of 19.3%saw a 32% increase in freight vehicles on ournational and provincial roads. About 15-20% Fuel consumption Average savings of 12.7%of heavy vehicles currently operating on ourroads are overloaded – 60% of the road Fleet size Reduced by 17%wear (or damage) caused by all heavyvehicles to our roads can be ascribed to Incident and accidents Reduction from 3.1 to 1.1 per monththese.” CO2 emissions Reduction of 1 280 tons of CO2 per year based on a freight task of 700 000 tons per yearThe traditional approach of law enforcementin the road freight sector is not sufficiently ef- Road wear Reduction varies from 2 to 23%fective. Amendments have been made to theNational Road Traffic Act to strengthen thelegislation. Other approaches include using quantify and evaluate the potential infrastruc- type in South African cents. Taking into ac-the road transport management system ture preservation, safety and productivity be- count the different permissible maximum loads(RTMS) and performance-based standards nefits for road freight transport. on each vehicle, a road-wear cost per km per(PBS) approach to heavy vehicle design. ton of load transported (c/ton km) was calcu- PBS allows more flexibility for vehicle design- lated for each vehicle.” The average road-Key elements in the heavy vehicle industry are ers to use innovative solutions and the latest wear costs of the PBS vehicles ranged fromthe design, construction and maintenance of technology to meet the required performance 7 to 8.3 c/ton km, while the baseline vehiclesthe road infrastructure; the design, mainte- standards, resulting in improved safety out- ranged between 8.4 and 10.6 c/ton km.nance and operation of vehicles; and driver comes and more effective use of the road in-wellness. frastructure. As vehicles operated under a PBS Safety is an important aspect in heavy vehicle framework are usually longer and carry hea- operation: baseline vehicles of 22 m long typi-“The RTMS is a voluntary, self-regulation vier payloads, they are limited to travel on a cally carry payloads of up to 35 tons, whilescheme that encourages consignees, con- subset of the network to ensure protection of the longer PBS vehicles of 24 to 27 m carrysignors and road transport operators to imple- the road infrastructure and acceptable safety up to 46.5 tons. “Safe handling during lanement a management system to contribute to levels. “It is important to match vehicles to changes, for example, is critical when live-preserving road infrastructure, improving road specific routes. The standard of the road infra- stock wanders onto a road in front of a heavysafety and increasing productivity. It is an in- structure varies, with national and provincial vehicle moving at speed. The PBS heavy vehi-dustry-led, government-supported initiative that roads being most appropriate for PBS vehi- cles showed a far better performance duringfocuses on load optimisation, driver wellness, cles.” high speed transient off-tracking, one of thevehicle maintenance and productivity,” ex- PBS standards,” says Nordengen. “However,plains Nordengen. He serves on the national Monitoring and to do a validated scientific assessment ofsteering committee of the RTMS and leads evaluation safety performance, we need a minimum ofCSIR research in network asset management “A scientific comparison was done between 5 million km of travel data.”systems in the roads and transport sectors. three baseline vehicles and the PBS vehicles, using the South African mechanistic-empirical “We are very excited about the initial results.In the sugar industry, applying the RTMS re- design method. Eight typical road designs The use of PBS vehicles shows improved pro-sulted in a 71% reduction in the extent of over- were used in both wet and dry conditions. ductivity and fuel consumption, improvedloading and a 53% reduction in the degree of Operators of the PBS vehicles were required safety performance and a reduction in CO2overloading within a period of three years. to be accredited through the RTMS self-regula- emissions,” he notes. “We anticipate that“This industry harvests 21 million tons of sugar tion accreditation scheme.” other vehicle and tyre modifications couldcane annually that are transported by about also be implemented that result in more road-1 500 trucks,” comments Nordengen. Data were collected and monitored monthly, friendly vehicles, without a negative effect on which has not yet been done elsewhere in productivity.”Performance-based countries implementing PBS. Data werestandards obtained on: The positive performance of the PBS demon-“Most countries control heavy vehicle use on n Load per trip stration project has resulted in the approvalthe road network through prescriptive regula- n Average trip speeds of 30 additional permits for such vehicles intions, which does not seem effective in many n Kilometres travelled per month the forestry industry, thus expanding the pilotcases, particularly in developing countries. n Average monthly fuel consumption projects specifically for conducting morePBS uses a different approach, specifying the n Maintenance costs research on safety aspects.performance required from the operation of a n Records of incidents and accidents.vehicle on a road network, thus what a vehi- “Due to the successful pilot in the forestry in-cle can do,” explains Nordengen. “An average wear cost was calculated for the dustry, discussions are underway with the 16 cases (eight pavement types, wet and dry sugar cane, coal mining and general freightFollowing successful results obtained through conditions) for each of the baseline and PBS sectors,” Nordengen concludes.PBS in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, vehicles,” explains Nordengen. The effect of – Hilda van Rooyenthe CSIR started a research programme in increasing the wheel spacing of the dual tyresSouth Africa. In collaboration with the forestry on the drawbar trailer was also investigated. Enquiries:industry, a number of PBS demonstration Paul Nordengenvehicles were designed, manufactured and “To look at actual cost savings, we calculated pnordengen@csir.co.zaoperated to obtain practical experience and the average road-wear costs for each vehicle S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 19
  17. 17. | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |CSIR system contributes toWELL-MAINTAINED BRIDGESRoads and bridges usually compete for the same ‘pot’ of government funding interms of maintenance. While road damage is more visible, bridge failures due todelays in repair may have catastrophic results when users are involved.“Roads deteriorate far quicker than bridges – To assist with bridge management and mainte- Implementing the Struman BMS, authorities in-the majority of roads have a design life of 20 nance, the CSIR developed the Struman spect and evaluate 21 basic bridge elements,years, while well-maintained bridges should bridge management system (BMS) in collabo- using the ‘DER’ rating system –last more than 120 years,” comments Paul ration with local consulting engineering firm D - degree or severity of the defectNordengen, the research leader of infrastruc- Stewart Scott International in the 1990s. The E - extent of the defect, that is, howture asset management systems at the CSIR. CSIR Struman system comprises customised commonly the defect occurs on the and regularly updated software, manuals and specific itemSouth Africa has about 100 000 bridges, training programmes for clients, ensuring that R - relevancy of the defect, taking intoincluding rail bridges. The construction of qualified engineers who act as bridge inspec- consideration the consequences ofbridges requires a substantial financial invest- tors have a consistent approach in rating the defects in terms of user safety and thement. The average cost of constructing a condition of bridges. structural integrity of the bridge.bridge is currently about R15 000 per m² —the replacement value of a typical 100 m Bridges are a major asset that needs to be The urgency of the need to carry out remediallong, 20 m wide bridge is thus in the order of maintained on a regular basis – the CSIR work is also assessed, which provides a wayR30 million. recommends inspections every five years so of applying recommended time limits on the that maintenance strategies of road authorities repair requirements.The causes of bridge deterioration could in- in South Africa can be planned over a five-clude: year period, based on a priority list of bridges The advantages of the CSIR’s Struman BMSn The location of structures in need of repair. “Structures can thus be for road authorities include that the systemn Traffic intensity, including the percentage of maintained at acceptable levels of service, focuses on actual defects rather than trying to heavy vehicles passing over the bridge and defects identified timeously and repaired determine the overall condition of all bridgen The material quality economically. The accessibility of information elements; and that the system is able to priori-n Design and construction defects also ensures that funds can be channelled to tise bridges in need of repair in order ofn Harsh climatic conditions repair urgent and important defects,” explains importance. “It is critical that people whon Pollution. Nordengen. operate the BMS must believe in the results and that the repair of the bridge stock is not based on perceived needs, but rather on a systematic approach,” comments Nordengen. S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 20
  18. 18. | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |Most of South Africa’s bridges are ‘short’, less BMS. The system is used in Mpumalanga, Paul Nordengenthan 20 m in length, with the five largest KwaZulu-Natal, the Western Cape and thebridges being situated on the Garden Route. Eastern Cape. “The Taiwan Area NationalSome very large bridges are also found on Freeway Bureau was our first major interna-the proposed Wild Coast section of the N2. tional client, while Namibia, Botswana and“The Bloukrans arch bridge near Nature’s Swaziland have also implemented our BMS,”Valley in the Western Cape is by far our says Nordengen.biggest bridge. It stands at a height of 216 mabove the Bloukrans River, making it the Namibia is quite advanced in the Southernhighest single span arch bridge in the world. African Development Community regarding itsIts central span is 272 m and the bridge is road infrastructure maintenance programme.451 m in length. As a matter of interest, it is “Our most recent project was to assistbelieved to host the worlds highest commer- Namibia with evaluations and analyses forcially-operated bungee jump activity,” says that country’s bridge maintenance strategy.Nordengen. We also trained their bridge inspectors to en- sure quality control and calibration of results.Worldwide, BMSs rely on inventory data and Following our recommendations presented toinspection data. Most BMSs in the world rely the Namibian roads authorities at the end ofon visual inspections as their primary data 2009, they compiled a priority list for bridgesource to determine the condition of a bridge. maintenance, on which their budget motiva-Diagnostic testing is generally used only for tions can be based,” concludes Nordengen.detailed inspections once bridges possibly in – Hilda van Rooyenneed of maintenance are identified. Enquiries:Locally, the South African National Roads Paul NordengenAgency Ltd has implemented the Struman pnordengen@csir.co.zaBMS, with all three toll operators using this S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 21
  19. 19. | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |WORLD-FIRST SYSTEMPREVENTS DERAILMENTSCAUSED BY RAIL BREAKSAn SA-developed system that can effectively monitor the world’s ageing railwayinfrastructure is drawing international attention. The system has demonstrated theability to detect breaks in continuously-welded railway tracks and thereby avoidexpensive and life-threatening derailments. But can it be made more cost-effectiveand applied internationally?Railway operators commonly inspect rails He continues: “Because we had no under- Improving the systemby using conventional ultrasonic inspection standing of how ultrasound waves travel intechniques. These require ultrasonic probes to rails, the transducer was developed purely by After internal changes, the opportunity arosebe drawn along the length of the rail. It is a trial and error with various versions tested on to initiate research at the CSIR aimed at un-labour-intensive process that can only be the rail near Saldanha. Ten years on, we have derstanding the physics of wave generationconducted periodically and can interfere produced approximately 1 500 transducers and propagation in rails with a view towith the normal schedule of trains. that perform adequately over a distance of improving the system. Research in the area 1.5 km.” of guided wave ultrasound has establishedWhen South African rail operator Spoornet re- unique capabilities for modelling and measur-quired an alternate method for continuously Since the completion of the original develop- ing the transduction and propagation of elas-monitoring its heavy duty iron-ore line be- ment project, various changes have been tic waves in rails. These new capabilities aretween Sishen and Saldanha, it contracted the made to the original design to ensure that the currently being applied to the developmentInstitute of Maritime Technology (IMT) to de- transducers survive in the extremely hostile en- of a transducer that can transmit energy overvelop an acoustic broken rail detector system. vironment in which they operate. While these greater distances and thereby improve theThis particular welded line suffers from fatigue transducers work well, it is expected that the competitiveness of its Rail Break Alarm Sys-cracks, which lead to complete breaks in the intervals at which they are placed along the tem.rail. These breaks have caused derailments rails could be substantially increased. Thiscosting around R50 million per event. would lower the cost of the system, making it a “Our work is now focused on developing a more attractive solution to railway operators. technology demonstrator transducer for long-From underwater sonar to range guided wave transmission and detec-guided wave ultrasound Performing on an interna- tion,” says Loveday. “The transducer will be tional stage developed to operate on two welded rail linesIMT was familiar with the CSIR’s expertise in in South Africa. In addition, the numericalunderwater sonar transducers and contacted The solution’s uniqueness and effectiveness models used will be coded in software andthe CSIR to conduct the ultrasonic transducer have attracted considerable attention from the the development procedure will be docu-development task. Project leader Dr Philip international railway community. The system mented so that transducers for other railLoveday tells the story: “The project required has been tested at the Transport Technology profiles, used internationally, can be easilyus to develop piezoelectric ultrasonic trans- Centre in Colorado, USA; on a test section in developed in future.”ducers that could be permanently installed on Kingston, Canada; on the subways of Newthe rail at intervals of between one and two York City and Hong Kong; and is currently He continues: “It should be noted that this iskilometres apart. We had nine months in being tested in Japan. the first such system to have been imple-which to develop the transducers and deliver mented in the world. We need to move now to200 of them.” “These tests have had varying levels of suc- take the system to the next level so that the first cess, most probably because different rail international business in this domain originatesThe system operates according to the follow- cross-sections are used on these lines for from South Africa.”ing concept: Ultrasonic waves are transmitted which our transducer may not be suitable,”along the rail between transmit and receive explains Loveday. While welded lines are not Loveday believes that the transducer develop-‘stations’ that are placed alternately along the common in South Africa, they are standard ment capability being established will laterlength of the rail. If the required ultrasonic sig- abroad. “We believe we now have the expert- support research into the detection of cracksnals are not received, an alarm is activated in- ise to not only extend the system’s range to in the rails before complete breakage occurs.dicating a broken rail. This means that the substantially more than just 1.5 km, but also – Petro Lowiesentire 850 km of rail can be monitored contin- make it successfully applicable to different railuously and also allows the railway operators profiles that are used abroad.” Enquiries:to know in which section the rail break has oc- Dr Philip Lovedaycurred. ploveday@csir.co.za S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 22
  20. 20. | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |Field tests of the Rail Break Alarm System are being conducted by the project team What is a piezoelectric ultrasonic transducer? A device that converts an electrical signal into ultrasonic sound waves and vice versa. Piezoelectric materials have the property of changing size when a voltage is ap- plied. Applying an alternating current across them can cause them to oscillate at very high frequencies, thus producing very high frequency (ultrasonic) sound waves. Dr Philip Loveday, leader of the CSIR’s rail transducer project S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 23
  21. 21. | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |WEIGHBRIDGESREDUCE OVERLOADING OFHEAVY VEHICLESOverloading does not only cause considerabledamage to South Africa’s road network, but italso contributes to serious road safety risks.It is a safety hazard that leads to the rapiddeterioration of roads, resulting in increasedmaintenance and transportation costs.To address the recurring problem of overload- current operational weighbridges are situated “There has been a significant downward trending, the Department of Transport identified on or in close proximity of a national route, in the percentage of heavy vehicles over-a need for overload control statistics to be while the rest are situated on provincial roads loaded and chargeable during the periodavailable centrally. The CSIR was subsequently or in municipal areas. 1995 to 2007. Since 2007, the percentagecommissioned to analyse available heavy of vehicles overloaded has stabilised at ap-vehicle weighing data for a period preceding Weighing statistics proximately 18%, while the percentage of2010. Statistics showed that the number of vehicles vehicles chargeable has continued to decline, weighed increased significantly during the being less than 4% in 2009. The majority ofVehicle-weighing data from 1995 to 2009, period 1995 to 2008. Since 2005, more heavy vehicle weighing takes place on the na-obtained from various authorities responsible than 1 million vehicles were weighed per tional routes. In 2009, for example, 92% offor overload control in South Africa, were annum, with a maximum of approximately vehicles weighed were travelling on nationalanalysed by a team of specialists. The CSIR 1.7 million in 2008. In 2009, approximately routes,” says Roux.team comprised Michael Roux, Ismail Sallie, 1.6 million vehicles were weighed. TheMauritz Kemp, Volanda de Franca, Kay provinces of the Western Cape, KwaZulu- Over the past 15 years, statistics showedMuronga and Paul Nordengen. According to Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng that the average overload per vehicleRoux, a senior civil engineer at the CSIR, and the Free State have been the most active declined from more than 3 000 kg in 1995weigh data from 118 static weighbridges were in terms of overload control during the past to 1 500 kg in 2001 and to approximatelyanalysed. Of these weighbridges, 70 are cur- 15 years. 600 kg in 2009. The average overloads priorrently operational. Approximately 70% of the to 2001/2002 cannot be reasonably com- S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 24
  22. 22. | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS |pared with those since 2002 due to the rela-tively small sample sizes prior to 2002 (lessthan 50 000 vehicles in 1995 increasing toalmost 300 000 in 2001). From 1995 to2009, the number of overloaded vehicles inthe 0 to 1 000 kg range increased signifi-cantly from approximately 24% to 84%,while the number of overloaded vehicles inthe greater than 2 000 kg range showed amarked decrease, from approximately 54%to 4%. This is an indication that the degree ofoverloading is decreasing.All the weighbridges for which data are avail-able are summarised per province and currentstatus in the table on this page. Michael Roux at a weighbridge station in GautengWeighbridges with a status of ‘operational’are weighbridges currently being used. Thosewith a status of ‘non-operational’ are weigh- SUMMARY OF WEIGHBRIDGES PER PROVINCE AND CURRENT STATUSbridges currently not being used, but that canbe made operational through maintenance or PROVINCE CURRENT STATUS TOTALupgrading. Weighbridges with a status of ‘indisuse’ are sites that have been abandoned. Operational Non-operational In disuseMost of these sites were equipped with single Eastern Cape 3 3axle scales. These types of scales are nolonger being used due to potential problems Free State 2 1 3with accuracy. Gauteng 13 6 1 20 KwaZulu-Natal 16 4 20“The available analyses based on datasupplied to the CSIR show that overload Limpopo 7 5 12control activities have increased considerably Mpumalanga 19 17 36over the past 15 years, with approximately Northern Cape 3 31.4 million vehicles currently being weighedper year. The increase in vehicle weighing North West 6 3 3 12activities has resulted in a continued improve- Western Cape 9 9ment in the heavy vehicle overloading situa-tion in South Africa, both in terms of the extent South Africa 78 10 30 118of overloading and the degree of overload-ing, on those routes monitored with static * The Northern Cape has a fourth operational weighbridge on the N14 at Upington, but no data wereweighbridges, which are mostly national received for this weighbridgeroutes. There are, however, indications thatoverloading on routes not monitored withstatic weighbridges is significantly higher.These are mostly the primary provincial roads,and cost-effective ways should be found tocarry out overload control on such routes,”concludes Roux. – Josephine Moiloa Enquiries: Michael Roux mroux@csir.co.za S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 25
  23. 23. | TRANSPORT | LOGISTICS | South Africa’s traffic-related “Our goal is to teach people to fatalities exceed 14 000 per year; for each person killed, measure and help them to 17 are seriously injured. Monetary cost is calculated at manage road traffic.” R80 billion per year; the cost in terms of loss of human life and resulting trauma to much larger numbers cannot be calculated.AN INTELLIGENT PLATFORMFOR SAFE AND EFFICIENT ROAD TRANSPORTIt is widely recognised that an efficient transport system forms the cornerstoneof a successful modern economy; in South Africa, the bulk of this transport oc-curs by road. A group of CSIR researchers has pooled skills to start working onfundamental technology to develop an intelligent transport solution for SouthAfrica, which takes cognisance of the unique mix of practical challenges that ourcountry faces.Kobus Labuschagne, a traffic engineer at the 2008 transport costs as R339 billion or a platform to manage specific transport situa-CSIR, highlights the imperatives for pursuing 14.7% of gross domestic product (GDP), tions.this solution. “Firstly, we must improve road which is significantly higher that internationalsafety for users of our roads, and those benchmarks. Labuschagne gives a simplified explanationaffected by road use. The loss of human life of how the ITS works, “The ITS collects dataon South Africa’s roads is a cause of great Labuschagne raises the need to use existing from a variety of sources, for example, sen-concern. Of the fatalities cited, 40% are assets and infrastructure to best advantage as sors, postings of traffic movements or data onpedestrians. Secondly, energy efficiency on the third imperative. “In short, we must opti- people movement. It also collects data on theour roads can significantly reduce the cost of mise what we have,” he concludes. condition of or reports on incidents on free-transport for our country. Traffic congestion is ways.” Data are relayed to the back officecostly in terms of wastage of fuel and loss of What is an intelligent where these are integrated to generate infor-productivity.” transport system? mation and intelligence for decision-making. The term intelligent transport system or ITS is “This means that information on road condi-The 6th State of LogisticsTM survey released well known and refers to collective technolo- tions and road usage can be used as theby the CSIR and its associates – IMPERIAL gies that are harnessed for the management basis for decisions to reroute traffic viaLogistics and Stellenbosch University – gives of transport. An ITS moves information through alternative routes,” he says. S C I E N C E S C O P E S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 0 26

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