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Clairwood logistics facility celebrates its first client’s expansion

Home Manufacturing & Processing Chemicals Clairwood logistics facility celebrates its first client’s expansion

SAMMAR Logistics has taken occupation of its new 37,965 sqm warehouse on Pocket 2A at Clairwood Logistics Park near the Port of Durban. This 15-year lease agreement is underpinned by Sasol South Africa which identified Clairwood as the ideal location for the consolidation of its warehousing of export products including waxes and polymers in the Durban South basin. This is one of the largest logistics deals to be concluded in the region.

Due to the nature of its product, Sasol’s specifications for the building have been demanding. These include DM1 floors, 16m height to eaves and good circulation. The yard was specifically designed for the movement and storage of containers. This fully racked facility can accommodate 35,000 pallet spots with provision for future expansion. Because of the way that Sasol stores its product, the height of the building is important. The height of this warehouse allows Sammar to rack higher, giving the team more pallet spots. A foam-based fire suppression system was specifically designed to comply with the nature of the products that are stored in the warehouse.

Denise Sodalay, the CFO of Sammar Logistics said, “The power of partnerships is demonstrated through the launch of our new facility. We are exceptionally proud of our 30-year working relationship as the third-party logistics provider to Sasol.”

David Mokomela, the senior vice president of Sasol Chemicals Africa, commented, “We have an excellent relationship with Sammar Logistics, their service levels are exceptional, and this new bespoke facility designed by Fortress adheres to Sasol’s high global standards of compliance.” Mokomela says Sasol’s move is in pursuit of getting their product to clients more efficiently.

Jason Cooper, head of property development for Fortress Logistics, said, “We are proud of our continued relationship with Sammar and Sasol. The warehouse was designed to operate more efficiently, optimising the utilisation of their space. Sammar Logistics were the first tenants at Clairwood five years ago. Seeing their growth – they have doubled the size of their space since the start of our relationship – has been amazing to witness first-hand.”

Previously a racecourse known as the ‘garden course,’ Fortress invested heavily in the site’s civils to ensure good drainage and a rehabilitated wild wetland adds to the 300,000 sqm facility’s neat, open appeal. Bruce Collins, head of asset management at Fortress says the park has attracted premium tenants prepared to pay. Explaining why space in the park is in high demand, he says: “Clairwood Logistics Park is only 11km from the Durban port with easy access to the M4 and N2. On completion, it will comprise 300,000 sqm of A-grade warehousing and a container yard. Comprehensive security measures are in place at this gated site: 24-hour alarm systems, video monitoring and reliable security patrols.”

Collins says the park has seen good growth in the past five years and much of this has been due to existing clients’ expanding businesses.

Approximately 60% of all containerised imports and exports go through the Durban harbour, so the park’s proximity to the port makes it a prized location. The strategic advantage of Clairwood Logistics Park being close to the port has fuelled continued high demand for space at the park. “We have seen that the delays experienced in 2023 have been resolved and there have been substantial improvements in turnaround times,” commented Collins.

Questioned about rail access to the port, Collins said that there is a rail line adjacent to the park and that it would be possible to establish a siding. That would require successful negotiation with Transnet.

The South African logistics industry is expected to continue its upward trajectory in 2024. The Fortress Logistics portfolio’s low vacancy rate of 1.2% (at 31 December 2023) is a result of effective asset recycling, well-executed management initiatives in the standing portfolio and healthy demand for well-located, high-quality logistics developments.

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