Air Cargo Africa 2015: Charter and on board courier services set for further expansion
We’re now less than two weeks away from the start of Air Cargo Africa 2015 – held at Emperors Palace in the City of Ekurhuleni, South Africa.
In its past two editions, held in Nairobi and Johannesburg, the continent’s biennial industry showcase attracted delegates from leading international logistics firms as well as key players from the African air cargo industry.
According to Alfie Arrowsmith, country manager at Chapman Freeborn South Africa, the myriad of regulations and procedures across the continent are another key factor preventing growth:
“The policies and procedures differ greatly from country to country and many nations still hold foreign airlines to ransom in terms of royalties and taxes. In an ideal world, if the African Union could adopt a similar policy to that of the EU it would definitely encourage the development of the air cargo industry.”
While the market isn’t yet growing at the rate many had predicted, in terms of air cargo charter demand Arrowsmith remains positive about the outlook for 2015:
“Even with the recent capital expenditure cutbacks by major energy companies, we’re still seeing ongoing demand for cargo charters relating to projects – particularly in West Africa but also across the continent as a whole. Elsewhere, sectors like mining and construction are also helping to drive demand.”
He adds that Chapman Freeborn is also targeting further growth in bloodstock and livestock movements in Africa, thanks to the recent acquisition of Intradco Cargo Services – an animal air transport specialist with over three decades of experience worldwide.
The team’s expertise includes coordinating air cargo charters for the global equine market, as well as more unusual movements including a recent airlift project to fly 39 giraffes from Johannesburg to a new 10,000 hectare game reserve in Thailand.
Arrowsmith also sees potential for further developing the company’s specialist on board courier (OBC) services in Africa.
“I believe the biggest opportunity for this lies within the automotive sector, bringing urgent automotive parts out of Europe into South Africa for the car manufacturing industry. There is also a large potential in the pharmaceutical industries ex South Africa into the rest of Africa.”