The Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC) recently announced plans to launch a R394-million logistics park in Uitenhage.

The Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC) recently announced plans to launch a R394-million logistics park in Uitenhage.

The park will be developed in conjunction with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality.

“Construction will begin before year-end and the first tenants will take occupation in the first quarter of 2005,” said Lance Schultz, the park’s managing director.

The first phase of the Nelson Mandela Logistics Park covers 45 hectares and includes a central IT, logistics and administrative hub. An agreement that transfers ownership of the project from the Uitenhage Despatch Development Initiative to a private development company is being concluded and discussions with component manufacturers and other potential tenants have already been initiated.

“Some companies are looking for larger premises, others are interested in potential cost savings in shifting to the park while others wish to align their products and services in accordance with the requirements of customers such as VW, GM, Ford and others.

“The logistics structures between customer and supplier must be completely integrated to ensure the minimum response time to the customers’ needs. The structures need also to embrace the complete logistics cycle and thus a key feature of the park will be a full container handling facility with global connectivity,” said Schultz.

This announcement follows closely on the launch of the Automotive Supply Park in Rosslyn, Pretoria, in March this year. A venture between government and the private sector, the project resulted in a multi-million rand investment.