Pathfinders for export to the US

While the Africa Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA) has been advantageous for Southern African exporters, they still often face prohibitively high freight rates into the United States (US).
Partly to combat this problem, SAFTA (the Southern African Fair Trade Access company) has been founded specifically to provide Southern African manufacturer While the Africa Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA) has been advantageous for Southern African exporters, they still often face prohibitively high freight rates into the United States (US).
Partly to combat this problem, SAFTA (the Southern African Fair Trade Access company) has been founded specifically to provide Southern African manufacturers the tools necessary to have an effective presence in the US mass retail market.
SAFTA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pathfinder Manager Inc, a US global sourcing and marketing company with ties to US retail buyers in almost all product categories.
Freight rates have been one obstacle but gaining exposure, market research, product presentation, access to retail buyers, shipping, warehouse and other logistics have also been unavailable to most Southern African manufacturers. SAFTA will select qualified manufacturers for membership in a co-operative effort to achieve economies of scale for all of the logistics components of the marketing effort, to get products from a Southern African port to the shelves of US mass retailers like Walmart, Sam’s Club and Target stores. The services include:

  • Reviewing manufacturing for consistency with US requirements.
  • Fitting products and packaging to the US market.
  • Product- and category-specific US market research.
  • US showroom display of products to retail buyers.
  • Consolidated shipping rates – for all the exports.
  • US warehousing and inventory management.
    Pathfinder and SAFTA are developing a Southern Africa showroom in a warehouse facility currently under construction in Nashville, Tennessee, where members will be able to set up permanent exhibitions of their products.
    Pathfinder management built a similar warehouse on the West Coast in order to attract Chinese imports in the US, which was highly successful.
    The membership fee for the scheme is $1000; $1,200 is charged for set-up of the exhibition. Commission on US sales is 5%.
    Contact Pathfinder in South Africa: Tel +27-31-7642735; +27-21-975-6501; tinecorp@iafrica.com