Traffic is light and consists mostly of trucks. We also encounter several overloaded busses heading in the opposite direction. “Mozambicans and Malawians fleeing anti-immigrant violence in South Africa,” explains Alex.
At times, he pulls over to chat with a fellow Transcom Sharaf driver. Because Alex’s truck is the newest and most modern in the fleet, the other drivers all want to check it out. Without exception, they are impressed, some whistling in admiration as they inspect the cabin.
The bumpy journey continues. While most potholes are a result of poor maintenance, some have been made intentionally, says Alex.
Thieves will break the pavement, making it easier to steal the load from passing trucks, which must now slow down to avoid the manmade potholes.
Break-bulk is most susceptible to theft, but the thieves go for containers also. “They’ll just use chain cutters,” says Alex.
Processed tobacco is a less popular target than, say, fertilizer, which can be easily sold.
To deter theft, Transcom Sharaf covers break-bulk in nets. “It’s not invincible, but if the thief has a choice between a covered and an uncovered load, hopefully he will target the uncovered one,” says Guy Harvey.