First-of-a-kind degree launched for freight studies

Logistics and supply chain academy Metro Minds has made history with the launch of a graduate qualification in conjunction with leadership school, Da Vinci Institute. The Bachelor of Commerce in Business Management is a “learnership with electives in freight forwarding and customs compliance” and, more importantly, is a first for South Africa.

At a webinar announcing the qualification this morning, Metro Minds founder and MD, Juliette Fourie, said they had received an overwhelming response from the public in the run-up to conceptualising the degree, especially at executive level. When asked whether their employees would be interested in achieving a BCom in freight forwarding and customs clearance, 85.7% of executives said yes.

When asked whether such a degree could contribute to the development and formalisation of specific sector skills, the response was even stronger – 92.9%. As regards demand for more qualified individuals to enter logistics, 90.5% of all executives approached said it was a good idea.

But what about provision made in the degree for a world disrupted by a pandemic, struggling to come to terms with trade lane tumult, supply chain chaos, nagging congestion and the related cost escalation of extreme events such as the war in Ukraine?

Fourie said it had all been taken care of by the theoretical and knowledge component of the curriculum and its intended outcomes, with digitised progress being a large part of this. “How does today’s world and today’s reality talk to technology? When we talk about a freight operation, and there is a disruption, how would you use innovation and systems thinking to adapt and respond to that disruption?”

She explained that it involved honing the skill and specialisation of approaching problems on a case-by-case basis, working elements of established and endorsed practices back into play. “Instead of having modules about disruption we bring that theory and the thinking back into the framework that’s been created.”

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