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EXPO: AIR CARGO AFRICA Brings Air Shippers to Africa’s Freight Industry


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AIR CARGO AFRICA, the most popular and the best networked global biennial trade exhibition cum conference of the air freight industry in Africa, in its fourth edition, scheduled for 21 to 23 February 2017 at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg, South Africa, will feature four round table panel discussions specially focused on air shippers from Africa, representing pharma, automotive, perishables and humanitarian aid.

STAT Media Group, the organiser of AIR CARGO AFRICA and AIR CARGO INDIA, pioneered the unique concept of placing shippers at the centre of conversations that matter to the air cargo industry, because shippers matter the most to air cargo.

“As a transport and logistics media group we have been participating in transport and logistics conferences around the world. And something that we have noticed over a period was that there was this crucial link, an important stakeholder of the logistics value chain, either missing or very thinly represented. That crucial link, that key stakeholder, is the shipper, the person or the company that pays for the freight. It is this realisation made us focus our attention and pool our resources to get shippers to the heart of conversations at Air Cargo Africa,” said Priyo Patra, Director, Events, STAT Media Group.

It was the fifth edition of AIR CARGO INDIA in 2014 that featured this initiative for the first time. The same concept was introduced at AIR CARGO AFRICA in its third edition in 2015 at Johannesburg and at AIR CARGO INDIA in its sixth edition in Mumbai last year. The forum, one of its kind in the industry and unique in its format, provides an ideal platform for no holds barred discussions, debates and exchanges of views and ideas.

This year at the AIR CARGO AFRICA air shippers’ forum, logistics and supply chain managers of pharmaceutical and auto and auto component manufacturing companies, global agencies in the humanitarian aid programme and exporters of Africa’s perishable products will be brought together. At the forum, they will interact with other stakeholders in the air cargo value chain, such as airlines, airports and freight forwarders, to strengthen partnerships and enhance the value proposition. The forums offer them an ideal platform to discuss and analyse the current status of how the industry functions and look for opportunities to improve cost and operational efficiencies.

On day one of AIR CARGO AFRICA (Tuesday, February 21) at 14:00, Brussels Airport will host the Pharma Air Shippers’ Forum, the first of the four air shippers’ forums. The hour-long panel discussion will deliberate the theme of “Pharma by air – establishing end-to-end integrity” with logistics managers of TEVA and Sandoz. Brussels Airport Company representatives, as well as the chairman of Pharma.Aero and freight forwarders specialising in pharma products will join them.

Commenting on hosting the forum, Steven Polmans, Head of Cargo, Brussels Airport Company, said: “We would like to strengthen the direct connectivity between Brussels and Johannesburg on one hand and, at the same time, find new partnerships supporting the further development of this direct route in a sustainable way. By hosting the pharma forum in Johannesburg later this month, we expect this will further strengthen our position as the preferred pharma gateway.”

According to Polmans, Air Cargo Africa offers the right format and mix. “We want to offer our BRUcargo partners the opportunity to discuss in an open platform, the local requirements and find solutions for the challenges they are facing,” he said.

On the same day at 15:15, Saudia Cargo will host the Perishables Air Shippers’ Forum discussing “Perishables by air – delivering fresh”. The focus is on flowers, fruits and vegetables, Africa’s key commodities of export, which require specific transportation requirements because of their highly perishable nature. The forum will feature the chief executive of Kenya Flower Council, flower growers from Nairobi, and agricultural produce exporters from South Africa. They will discuss and debate with service providers representing Qatar Airways Cargo and Panalpina Airflo.

On the second day of AIR CARGO AFRICA (Wednesday, February 22) at 14:30, Frankfurt Airport hosts the Automotive Air Shippers’ Forum discussing the topic of “Auto and auto components by air – accelerating speed and reliability”. The forum will feature South Africa’s key auto and auto components manufacturing companies and industry associations.

“After our successful air shippers’ forums last year in India during Air Cargo India conference and exhibition in Mumbai, and Auto SCM Summit in Pune, we now would like to follow up with the automotive industry in Johannesburg, jointly discuss challenges of the air freight supply chain in more detail and look for innovative ways to ease the journey of cargo from Africa to Frankfurt, Germany, Europe and the USA,” said Dirk Schusdziara, SVP Cargo Fraport AG, on the partnership with STAT Media Group to host the forum.

At 15:45 on the second day, Liege Airport will host the fourth air shippers’ forum on humanitarian aid or relief cargo. The discussion will be around the theme of “Humanitarian aid by air – delivering support right time, right place”, and will see participation from logistics heads of international aid agencies like United Nations Procurement Division, International Federation of Red Cross and World Food Programme. Leaders from key air charter providers and NGOs in the humanitarian logistics services will join them.

“Humanitarian aid, especially ad hoc operations when disaster strikes, relies heavily on air freight operations to reach the areas where help is most urgently needed. We believe in highlighting the importance of the airfreight industry to the world, and humanitarian aid is a perfect example,” said Steven Verhasselt, Vice President, Commercial, Liege Airport, commenting on hosting this discussion at Air Cargo Africa.

“We are especially proud to host the panel discussion on humanitarian aid, as this is where the industry meets the charity. It is part of daily business, but it is more than that. It feels good to go the extra mile to the benefit of those who need it most. Liege Airport wants to bring all those together who believe in this,” Verhasselt added.

The fourth edition of AIR CARGO AFRICA has already attracted huge response from trade exhibitors representing airports, airlines and logistics service providers from Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia and the US. Besides air shippers’ forums, the three-day event will feature other key discussion on the theme of “Air freight in Africa – building tomorrow’s market today”. Panel discussion spread across three days, featuring top global air freight industry leaders, will discuss topics ranging from “unlocking Africa’s civil aviation potential”, “over capacity and declining yield in a volatile market”, “freight forwarders, the critical link in the air cargo supply chain”, “trade agreements and what’s there in them for air cargo industry” and “innovations in cargo delivery”.

South African Airways Cargo as its diamond partner supports the event. Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), Africa Flight Services (AFS) and Swissport Cargo Services are the platinum partners. While Airports Company South Africa and National are gold partners, Liege Airport is the silver partner. Other partners include Etihad Cargo, Cologne Bonn Cargo and Frankfurt Hahn Airport.

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