TRANSPORT: AIR CARGO AFRICA 2017 Kicks Off in Johannesburg
Recent Gauteng Business News
Throngs of visitors braved the wet weather today in Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg for the opening day of AIR CARGO AFRICA 2017, the fourth edition of the biennial air cargo industry conference and exhibition organised by STAT Times. AIR CARGO AFRICA 2017 takes place from 21 to 23 February at Casino Convention Resort, Emperors Palace in City of Ekurhuleni.
Following a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the event, dignitaries and visitors toured the exhibition hall, which featured stands from more than 80 organisations including Diamond Partner, South African Airways Cargo, Platinum Partner, Swissport Cargo Services and Qatar Cargo.
In his opening address, RK Patra, group editor-in-chief of multi-modal international transport and logistics trade publishing company, STAT Media Group, welcomed old and new faces to the show, stating that the industry has undergone major changes since the previous event held in 2015.
“$6.8 trillion worth of goods are transported by airlines annually – equating to $18.6 billion worth every day,” he stated. “On average, cargo business creates nine percent of airline revenues, and we believe that through Africa, the hidden value of this sector can be unlocked.”
“The global air cargo industry was certainly shaken up with Amazon’s announcement earlier this year that it would be building a $1.5 billion hub for its own cargo airline, setting itself up to handle shipments between China and the US. Whether this move will make it a friend or foe to the air cargo sector, we don’t know at this stage; but one thing is certain, we will learn from this.”
Dr Ismail Vadi, MEC for Gauteng Roads and Transport, who delivered the inaugural address at the show, explained that AIR CARGO AFRICA 2017 will be looking at new frontiers within the industry – including technological advancements such as drones and driverless cars – and how they have revolutionised the transport sector, forcing it to rethink well-established practices and standards.
In line with this, keynote speaker, Musa Zwane, CEO (Acting), South African Airways and South African Airways (Technical), pointed out that while Africa has been identified as the fastest growing air cargo region globally (International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Industry Forecast 2013-2017), with an expected growth rate of 3.2 percent for international freight volumes, catalysts like technology must be embraced in order to reach this potential.
“Africa’s air cargo market has a golden opportunity, but while the potential for growth is high, the value proposition for customers must be examined and improved.”
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