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Babcock boosts young freight business with 10-truck deal

Babcock International Group, sole importer and distributor of DAF Trucks in Southern Africa, has just completed an entrepreneurial deal with a relatively new entrant into the SA road freight market for ten long-distance haulage trucks.

The brand new DAF XF105.460 units were delivered to Maxillaria Logistics’ Alberton premises in mid-May, and were immediately put onto a long-haul contract between Durban harbour and the Zambian Copperbelt.


Maxillaria Managing Director Bernard Lunga has been hands-on in the transport business since 2007, having earned his Bachelor of Commerce degree in Australia and completed a three-year management development programme with Cross Country Containers.

“Being new to the South African market, it was difficult to secure credit lines, despite our track record as an established operator in other SADC countries; our Zimbabwe operation had grown to 150 trucks by 2014,” said Lunga. “So when we launched on our own here in South Africa last year, we bought 15 second-hand trucks for cash and have quickly built our business on the strength of our extensive network of customers.”

He said the company had always looked forward to owning new trucks, and was thrilled when Babcock was prepared to offer them attractive terms on these award-winning models.

“Meeting a company like Babcock, with its entrepreneurial approach and great product line-up, was a breakthrough for us – and we look forward to working with them closely as we grow our business further,” said Lunga.

According to Mark Gavin, Babcock Sales Director (Transport Solutions), their meetings with Maxillaria convinced them that this is a company with a strong customer foundation, sound management experience and great potential for growth.

“We were impressed with the track record and the progress of this young company” said Gavin, “and were able to offer them a finance structure that suited their business model. Through our own dedicated finance company, Babcock Financial Services – as well as our own experience in the transport industry – we were able to make an assessment and offer them a package.”

He added: “Our sales executive, Piet Kemp, quickly identified the needs of the operator and was thus able to offer a complete transport solution that met all of their requirements.”

As part of the financing deal, the 10 DAF trucks will also be covered by a repair and maintenance contract to ensure smooth operation and peace of mind.

“I really appreciated that Babcock was able to view the opportunity from an entrepreneurial point of view,” said Lunga. “They saw how they could add value to our operation, and quickly came back to us with an offer that suited our needs and capacity.”

He said it was particularly comforting to know that the DAF XF had recently won the Fleet Truck of the Year award for the sixth time in nine years at the UK Motor Transport Awards – the industry ‘Oscars’. The 10 DAF units take Maxillaria’s truck fleet to 25.

“Given how well the business has done since we started last year, our strategy has been to grow the fleet to give us better capacity to go after more work,” said Lunga. “With the new DAF additions, we are well on our way to achieving this.”

Tristan Wiggill
Special Features Editor at Business Fleet Africa