Airfreight consolidation, or break bulk, is the consolidation of several shipments from various shippers that are destined for the same port or airport overseas. DACHSER South Africa provides a bi-weekly consolidation, or break bulk airfreight service between South Africa and Europe, originating in Germany at the company’s Frankfurt gateway. This is said to offer a cost-effective solution for smaller importers, especially through the challenges of Covid-19.
“Different offices in and around Europe deliver cargo into our Frankfurt Gateway and we make use of a weekly service departing from Frankfurt each Saturday and Tuesday. We build up our own unit load devices (ULD), meaning cargo pallet, for the carriers to ship to Johannesburg,” says DACHSER South Africa MD Detlev Duve. “Various customers can make up these units, which are moved under one Master Airway bill. Each consignment is designated to a specific consignee, and flown to us in South Africa. Once the units arrive in Johannesburg, we break the consolidation apart per House Airway Bill and proceed with customs clearance and other necessary documents. We then arrange for the cargo to be delivered to our customers.”
Duve says that the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that there has been limited space available on flights, as many of the carriers into Johannesburg and Cape Town cancelled flights to South Africa. With reduced load capacity to South Africa, delays were experienced and life support and essential goods took preference on all flights.
“Due to demand, capacity has been very limited and prices shot up to exorbitant rates to get cargo or shipments moved via Air Freight. Supply chain capacity and costs will continue to be challenging throughout 2022, requiring deft management, effective communication and resourceful thinking from logistics providers. Fortunately, this continues to stabilise and we have a number of customers who benefit from the airfreight break bulk service.”