South Africa’s Port Congestion Gives Airfreight Volumes a Lift

In a strategic move to strengthen its footprint and enhance its shipping solutions, SACO CFR is set to expand its export consolidation service in 2024.

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Article Source: South Africa’s Freight New by ftw
Article by: Liesl Venter

In a strategic move to strengthen its footprint and enhance its shipping solutions, SACO CFR is set to expand its export consolidation service in 2024.

The neutral consolidator has just unveiled a service connecting Johannesburg and Heathrow, marking a significant milestone in its continuous efforts to streamline international trade.

According to Jacob Pretorius, general manager for airfreight, this comes on the back of a difficult 2023.

Jacob Pretorius
SACO CFR’s general manager for airfreight, Jacob Pretorius. Source: LinkedIn

“The past year was not easy for the airfreight sector,” he told Freight News.

“It was a year when one had to fight for every kilogram.

“Plentiful space was available, but rates were high compared to ocean freight.

“Our hopes are high that 2024 will be a better year.”

With the congestion problems experienced at the ocean ports by Transnet in December, the airfreight business saw a significant uptick at the end of the year as cargo owners opted to move freight via air to keep supply chains moving.

Ocean carriers implemented surcharges to recover losses experienced from being parked outside the Port of Durban for 20 days or more.

In general, there are also talks of shipping lines increasing their freight rates by 1-5% due to other affected areas, like the Panama Canal, where they have reduced the number of vessels being off loaded per day and standing times per day have tripled compared to the past.

“These will all contribute to bringing more cargo back to airfreight,” said Pretorius.

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