10 Dec 2021: The demand for forklift equipment grew in 2021, largely on the back of orders cancelled in 2020 now filtering through, comments Shumani Industrial Equipment MD Victor Nemukula. “We expect robust demand for our products in 2022.”

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 South African market. It supplies world-class equipment across the breadth of the industrial and construction sectors.

Brands on offer include world-leading names 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.

The secret to the ongoing success of Shumani is the longstanding partnerships it enters into with key customers, according to Nemukula. 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 is clinching a major contract to supply close to 50 forklifts to logistics service provider Liquor Runners for a leading beer producer in South Africa. This flagship contract is cementing Shumani’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 in our construction and cleaning equipment mostly, on the big machines,” notes Nemukula. “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 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 to offer,” adds Nemukula.

“Our key offering remains forklifts, which will still lead the way in terms of growth. We think there’s still a lot of growth in the market for a company like Shumani, which offers a one-stop shop in the market. We believe the construction and mining sectors will offer support for our ongoing growth,” stresses Nemukula.

In terms of trends, there is a strong push towards electric equipment in the market. “Although still a tiny fraction in terms of the overall demand, we expect it to start growing as the market picks up speed,” points out Nemukula.

He concludes: “Shumani’s employees are its greatest asset, who have carried the business with loyalty and dedication over the years. 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.”