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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  11 Mar 2015

LOGISTICS: AIR CARGO AFRICA 2015:Collaboration is Key to Beating Air Cargo Challenges in Africa


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The partnership will consolidate and expand Airports Company South Africa’s cargo handling capacity as part of its broader strategy to grow its position as the continent’s leading air cargo hub, and will also involve the exchange of information and individual expertise along with cooperation in the field of customer acquisition.

In line with the theme of “Air Cargo – Africa’s path to sustainable growth”, this year’s event was officially opened by the executive mayor of the City of Ekurhuleni, Mondli Gungubele, who said in his opening address that the City of Ekurhuleni region had become the aviation-, logistics-, and manufacturing hub of Africa, and that OR Tambo International Airport was strategically positioned as a gateway to Africa.

He reiterated the goals and vision of the City of Ekurhuleni becoming Africa’s first aerotropolis, and in this way also turn the tide of poverty and underdevelopment for the majority of the region’s people.

Recurring topics raised during panel discussions and lively debate between delegates included the fact that trade within Africa itself must be addressed to harness great growth opportunities; that an open trade environment within Africa would allow air cargo to be a catalyst for growth throughout the continent; and that there is a dire need for greater transparency and cohesion across the entire air cargo supply chain.

Key discussion points included:
· That continuous dialogue and communication are needed to move the air cargo industry forward, with all stakeholders needed to engage in discussion;
· Air freight can meet the growing demand for mobile telephony in Africa, as it provides a safe and reliable mode of transport for high-value technology goods;
· The collective GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the continent shows that Africa is growing and will continue to do so due to investment from China and India in particular;
· Global and local knowledge is required to succeed;
· Infrastructure needs to improve to make the environment sustainable in the long run; and
· The need for ‘just-in-time’ shipments of less than five days into Africa, as opposed to the current seven to eight days, is becoming critical.

Event organiser, STAT Times, hosted a gala awards evening on the night of the 26th of February, where it honoured industry players who have achieved excellence in various sectors of the air cargo industry. Winners included OR Tambo International Airport, as African Airport Of The Year, South African Airways Cargo as African Cargo Airline Of The Year, and Emirates Sky Cargo as Global Cargo Airline Of The Year. The STAT Times Lifetime Achievement Award went to Desmond Vertannes, the much-liked and well-respected previous global head of cargo at International Air Transport Association (IATA).

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