Kelrn Vervoer : Local Farmer to National Supplier

Taylor GreenLily Sawyer
Taylor Green - Project Manager Lily Sawyer - Editor

Family-run enterprise, Kelrn Vervoer, comes from humble beginnings. Delivering customised logistics services to the farming, industrial, and mining sectors, today the company boasts a comprehensive fleet of flat-decks, tautliners, fridges, and petroleum tankers.

LOCAL FARMER TO NATIONAL SUPPLIER

Established in Barkly West, South Africa, Kelrn Vervoer (Kelrn) began with the simple objective of transporting its own agricultural products to countrywide markets, alongside offering simple transport solutions to local farmers in the district.  

Under the inspired leadership of Kenne de Kock Snr, the company has since grown and developed, entering the refrigerated transport market in 1985 before fuel tankers were added to the fleet in 2005. 

Today, Kelrn emerges as one of the leading logistics solutions companies in South Africa, with a growing fleet that boasts 80 tautliners, 10 petroleum tankers, and 16 fridges.  

It is clear to see that family remains at the core of Kelrn, an acronym for the names of de Kock Snr’s children: Kenne, Estelle, Louis, Ronelle, and Neil.  

As a result, Kelrn deeply values the relationships it has cultivated along the way, and business partners can expect to be honoured accordingly as part of the extended ‘Kelrn family’. 

Driven by its dedication to building close working relationships with its clients and catering for their unique requirements, Kelrn is a logistics solutions service provider with a difference.  

The company acknowledges the standards set by its clients and strives to deliver a 100 percent service level, every time.

Mercedes-Benz Actros truck

STAND-OUT SERVICES

Offering quality service, expertise, and creative ideas, Kelrn has been able to maintain its competitive edge in an increasingly saturated market.  

Delivering its services to the agricultural, wholesale grocery, cold chain, mining, and industrial sectors, Kelrn boasts a comprehensive fleet.  

The company’s strong leadership and management, coupled with a sense of teamwork that underpins the entire organisation, combine to deliver positive business relationships with a personal touch.  

In addition, Kelrn’s stringent security and safety measures and its late standby hours speak volumes of its overall devotion to helping others. 

Most importantly, the company believes that it is not one of these unique characteristics that enable it to stand out from the competition, but all of them combined. 

Innovation is also at the heart of Kelrn’s operations. As one of the first truck operators in South Africa to make use of the pallet system for truck loading, Kelrn is constantly innovating to optimise its trailers.  

Furthermore, Kelrn was one of the first farms in the region to make use of automated milking systems and one of the first truck operators to utilise vehicle tracking technology. As such, finding efficiencies remains an important priority for the company.   

As a result, the company has benefitted from a valuable, loyal customer base it has worked hard to build and maintain over the past 40 years.

TECHNOLOGY AND RECENT ADVANCEMENTS

In line with industry updates and evolutions, Kelrn has implemented integrated systems to streamline its operations.  

From booking to delivery and invoicing to receipt, the company ensures that modern and advanced systems are in place to guarantee operational excellence.  

From the first point of contact with Kelrn’s dedicated Client Managers, customer service requests are loaded onto VSC Palm, a technologically advanced vertical supply chain portal that allows real-time instructions and progress monitoring from order to delivery.  

Loading instructions are electronically transmitted to the driver, who receives the order on a touchpad device. The driver then proceeds to the point of collection and uploads paperwork and images of the freight, which is made immediately available to the Client Manager.  

Freight is tracked by a dedicated controller all the way to its destination, and the Client Manager is able to keep customers updated on progress in real time. 

VSC Palm then integrates with Sage Evolution software that allows Kelrn’s debtors department to process the paperwork seamlessly to ensure invoices and statements are timely and correct.  

Kelrn believes that VSC Palm, used in combination with Sage Evolution, offers customers much less hassle, fuss, and room for error. 

In addition, the company’s fleet is under 24-hour surveillance by both an in-house control room and an independent service provider.  

In-cab communication systems also allow for heightened risk assessment and constant independent communication. 

Mercedes-Benz Actros

COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTIONS

Coming from a family that believes strongly in giving back to the community, de Kock Snr believes that a well-organised corporate social investment (CSI) effort is required for the company to sustainably contribute to society. 

He is particularly passionate about contributing to the child welfare needs of the Northern Cape. 

As such, the company hosts the Kelrn MTB Classic, an annual mountain biking event to raise funds for local childcare initiatives.  

Since Kelrn MTB Classic was initiated and presented in 2012, it has grown into a sponsored event.  

2023 was the event’s 10th anniversary, and ZAR1 million was donated to several registered child welfare beneficiaries. 

The mission of Kelrn MTB Classic is to sustainably contribute funds to child welfare needs on a yearly basis in the Northern Cape region, such as the Caritas Community Focus, Makarios, the Reach for a Dream Foundation, and the Elizabeth Conradie School (ELCON). 

This is primarily achieved through the combined efforts of sponsors, Kelrn employees, and registered public benefit organisations that form part of the event. 

Similarly, Kelrn also funds an additional community outreach programme in association with the Jannie Roux Campus. 

POWERFUL PARTNERSHIPS

Historically, Kelrn has been backed by a supportive and dedicated network of local partners and suppliers, which have been crucial to the company’s success to date.  

Notably, the global automotive brand Mercedes-Benz played an important part in Kelrn’s initial expansion, selling de Kock Snr his first Mercedes-Benz 2633 distribution trucks in 1985. 

Since then, the company has grown exponentially, and Kenne de Kock Jnr has followed in his father’s footsteps, sealing a major contract for the transportation of long-life milk in the face of extreme drought in the region, which affected local farming businesses. 

As such, Kelrn has expanded into a successful national transportation business whose most important customers remain local farmers. However, de Kock Jnr remains reflective and thankful for Mercedes-Benz’s support over the years.  

Today, Kelrn has a dedicated Daimler Truck Southern Africa (DTSA) fleet of 120 trucks, of which Mercedes-Benz is the largest individual shareholder.   

Furthermore, Kelrn enjoys beneficial and advantageous relationships with other notable local partners and suppliers, including Serco Trailers, Cargo Carriers, and New Vaal Motors – Mercedes-Benz’s trusted local dealership. 

In this way, one of Kelrn’s most valuable assets can be considered its business partners, who provide a robust and supportive network upon which the company heavily relies.

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By Taylor Green Project Manager
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Taylor Green is a Project Manager for Outlook Publishing. Taylor is responsible for showcasing corporate stories in our digital B2B magazines and Digital Platforms, and sourcing collaborations with Business Leaders, Brands, and C-suite Executives to feature in future editions. Taylor is actively seeking opportunities to collaborate. Reach out to Taylor to discover how you and your business could be our next cover story.