African agents grow as continental strategy takes shape

Neutral consolidator CFR Freight has added 12 new African countries to its agent list bringing its African coverage to 75%. According to route development coordinator Megan Ekermans, this is part of an ongoing strategy to increase the company’s African footprint.

By Liesl Venter- Freight News

Neutral consolidator CFR Freight has added 12 new African countries to its agent list bringing its African coverage to 75%. According to route development coordinator Megan Ekermans, this is part of an ongoing strategy to increase the company’s African footprint.

Commenting on challenges for operations on the continent, Ekermans told Freight News offering a Delivered Duties Paid (DDP) product was not always easy as was the case with moving temperature-controlled products to clients on the continent. Access to freighters and direct services was also limited which at times could be challenging.

“It is imperative in the African context to therefore always be working towards finding solutions to some of the unique challenges faced. We work closely with our agents within the AirCargoGroup to find alternative solutions to move cargo.”

Ekermans said risks such as security and bureaucracy were also never far from the agenda, making it imperative to have reliable partners – who were not always easy to come by.

“It is difficult to pick up trends at present due to the Covid-19 pandemic as it seems when we start to stabilise new waves of the virus sweep across the world, affecting capacity and rates. This is also the case in Africa, but one must remember the impact of this as the continent relies more on airfreight movements to bring in time-sensitive mining and manufactured goods. The movement of Africa’s fresh produce to Europe is also impacted.”

Ekermans said despite the uncertainty in the current environment they remained positive about airfreight – particularly in the African lanes which accounted for about 50% of their top 10 export lanes last year.

“African airlines have also gained a lot more business throughout the year in assisting to service these lanes,” she said.

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