THE demand for forklift equipment grew in 2021, largely on the back of orders cancelled in 2020 now filtering through, according to Shumani Industrial Equipment MD Victor Nemukula. “We expect robust demand for our products in 2022,” he said.
Now the largest black-owned and managed industrial equipment supplier in South Africa, Shumani is an appointed dealer for all Goscor Group companies that import industrial equipment for the local industrial and construction sectors.
Brands on offer include top brands like Bendi, Crown, Kalmar and Doosan in the forklift market. Construction equipment brands include Bobcat, Sany, HPower, Weima, Luthian, Ozen and Sullair. In the cleaning equipment market segment, Shumani offers Tennant, Genie, Sentinel and HighPoint.
Nemukula attributes the company’s ongoing success to longstanding partnerships with key customers. As a new kid on the block in 2015, Shumani was awarded a key contract by Imperial Fleet Management (IFM) to supply and maintain materials-handling equipment for Transnet.
A recent example was clinching a major contract to supply close to 50 forklifts to logistics service provider Liquor Runners for a leading beer producer in South Africa. Nemukula said this contract is helping to cementing the company’s presence in the food and beverage industry.
The 3.5 t units are capable of handling two pallets at a time for maximum stacking and offloading efficiency.
In addition, Shumani has started to diversify into the mining sector. “These products are mostly construction and cleaning equipment. We are seeing increasing enquiries, mostly on the bigger machines,” Nemukula said. “Shumani offers some exciting brands in the construction and mining sectors like Sany and Bobcat. Our Crown forklift is the leading electric brand, which is tested and has proved resilient in the market.”
As the largest industrial equipment supplier into the food and beverage industry, this remains the main focus for Shumani at present. However, the mining industry is also riding high on the back of rising commodity prices. Most of the equipment supplied by Shumani is used in the stores and logistics departments of both construction and mining companies.
“We are set on competing in this space as well, as we have a significant value proposition,” he said.
“Our key offering remains forklifts, which will lead the way in terms of growth. We think there’s still a lot of scope for Shumani in the market, which offers a one-stop shop. We believe the construction and mining sectors will offer support for our ongoing expansion.”
In terms of trends, there is a strong push towards electric equipment at the moment. “Although still a tiny fraction in terms of the overall demand, we expect it to start increasing as the market gains momentum.”
Nemukula described the company’s employees are its greatest asset. “They’ve really come together in 2021 to take us to the next level. In addition, without constant support from our customers, Shumani would not have gained such significant traction.
“Some of our blue-chip customers in particular entrusted their entire operations to a young up-and-coming business at the time. This has allowed us to continue to grow as a business.”