Programmes in International Freight Management and Administration.

Posted on March 16, 2010

Billions of Rand are spent annually by South Africans purchasing goods from foreign suppliers. Many businesses rely on imported supplies for the production or assembly of their own goods for the local market and for use in the manufacture of other goods for export. Although the bulk of exports fall in the categories of metals, minerals and agricultural produce, exports of general merchandise are increasing all the time. This is an important dynamic in the management of the country’s balance of payments. South Africa is a large importer of capital goods and equipment. Simply put, South African business is involved in international trade, with the African market increasing in importance.

At the practical level, the responsibility for making this trade happen rests with management involved in purchasing, supplies planning, production and inventory control - all aimed to ensure that goods are received and delivered within set time limits and cost effectively. International trade is indelibly linked to international transportation. This function must be properly managed and controlled by people familiar with and with a sound understanding of the complexities involved.

Importers and exporters rely to a greater or lesser extent on freight forwarders and customs brokers, but the responsibility for achieving the desired results remains with their management. It is incumbent on import and export management to understand the impact of the many elements of the international transportation and this applies to all disciplines – logistics, shipping, marketing, production and finance. All involved - from the freight forwarder’s perspective, management and staff - must have the skills and knowledge to operate in this multi-faceted environment.

The Department of Business Management’s Chair in Logistics introduced two programmes in “International Freight Management and Administration”. The first programme commences in July 2010 and will be presented over a period of five weeks. Study will take place at the university main campus in Pretoria and involve 160 contact hours with lecturing being provided by subject matter experts. With the objective of improving the students knowledge and competence in the vast and intricate field of international trade, the course will examine amongst other topics, the needs of importers and exporters; the contract of sale, delivery terms and payment methods; the role of international organisations such as the World Customs Organisation, the ICC and IATA; international freight forwarding and the role of Customs; modal selection and documentation.

An advanced programme will be presented over a period of six weeks with 200 contact hours and will introduce students to the legal framework of international transport; trade issues such as anti-dumping, the Common Customs Area, and the Authorised Economic Operator; the transportation of dangerous goods and other special cargoes; marine insurance, financial management and freight forwarding within the supply chain. The advanced programme will commence in 2011.

For more information, contact Wesley Niemann, e-mail: [email protected], telephone: 012 420 4635, fax: 086 632 7333 or visit

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