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Career focus: meet Sun Moodley, CEO of BigFoot Express Freight

Sun Moodley, CEO of BigFoot Freight Express.

Sun Moodley, CEO of BigFoot Freight Express.

Published May 5, 2022

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From owning a chicken business to running one of South Africa’s biggest freight companies to winning races around the world, Sun Moodley is a man of many talents. IOL’s Se-Anne Rall sat down with Moodley for a chat about his road to success.

Winston Churchill once said, “You can measure a man’s character by the choices he makes when he is under pressure.”

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The statement could not be truer when referring to BigFoot Express Freight CEO Sun Moodley, who has revolutionised the freight industry.

With a fleet of more than 100 trucks and close to 3 500 staffers, BigFoot Express Freight is one of the country’s most sought-after carriers.

Over 30 years ago, Moodley started BigFoot Express Freight and says over the years the company has grown to what it is today.

"I have good staff and they are able to provide a great service to our clients. We have about three and a half thousand clients who have been trading with us for years," Moodley says.

He puts his client and employee loyalty down to the ongoing relationship building projects he runs.

In 1984, Moodley bought a small trucking business and began transporting sorghum beer from black townships to previously “white” suburbs across Durban.

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Due to the apartheid laws in South Africa at the time, black people were not allowed to travel into what were considered white areas and Moodley zoned in on the niche business of transporting the traditional beverage from one area to the other.

He says the business started with three trucks and quickly grew as the demand for transporting goods between areas increased.

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Sun Moodley

Moodley says despite the success of the business at the time, he often encountered issues and eventually sold it.

He later ventured into producing packaged goods and after trips to Bangkok as well as to various areas within South Africa where he engaged with producers of rice products, he then spent a few years in the industry. However, freight was his first love and he soon found his way back to where it all began.

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"Although you want to run away from it, 34 years later I am still with trucks," he jokes.

With a fleet of well over 200 trucks, BigFoot now transports goods all over the country, across 11 South African warehouses and a warehouse in Botswana.

Moodley says his affinity for numbers has been a driving force in his career.

“After matric, I did financial accounting studies and I am very good at figures. I think I have a good foresight of things and I like to work on problems. I find that this gives me an opportunity to improve. If we don’t have problems, we can’t improve,” he adds.

Moodley says apart from ongoing petrol increases and load shedding, water disruptions throw another spanner in the freight business works.

He subscribes to the philosophy of positive energy and believes that life does not have to be complicated. Lead with a strong belief in people and help them grow to achieve their personal goals has been the “secret ingredient” of his commercial rise from good to great.

A proud father of three and grandfather of five, when Moodley is not in his office he can be found either on the golf course or racing behind the wheel of either his Porsche or Ferrari.

He bought his first Ferrari at the age of 45 and has been racing ever since. He has raced in Brazil and across Europe, where he won many races.

In Brazil, Sun completed two 30-minute dashes at the Interlagos, while in Germany he did the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg and Nürburgring. He also competed in the Red Bull ring in Austria, Brno in Czechoslovakia and in Hungary, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium as well as winning the Omnitel 1 000km Endurance Race in Palanga.

His personal car is a Porsche 991 911 GT3RS Weissach Edition and several Ferraris over the years.

IOL

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