Wednesday, February 6, 2013

■ SOUTH AFRICA: DHL sees strong African cargo market potential in 2013 catalyzed by increased Asian, intra-Africa trade.

Despite Africa having overall freight load factors of just 24.7% which, according to IATA is the lowest of any region by a significant margin, global courier DHL remains optimistic about Africa's cargo growth potential for 2013 with deepening trade ties with Asia, and above all, with fellow African countries, the catalyst.

Ethiopian Airlines Cargo 757DHL sub-Saharan Africa Managing Director Charles Brewer said that increased consumer spending and demand for e-commerce products would drive the industry in Africa. In the last two years, the advent of 3G+ cellular technology and faster internet connections (and the subsequent use of money transfer platforms like M-Pesa) have boosted the appeal of e-shopping and associated gadgets.
"Africa is an engine of growth. Depending on the country, the drivers of growth are different. Over the next year, growth will be (in) the energy sector. Over the next three to five years, more spend on consumer electronics is expected, and new to Africa e-commerce, which globally is probably the fastest growing sector for trade," he said.
In the last decade Africa's overall growth rates have quietly approached those of Asia, and according to projections by the IMF, on average Africa will have the world's fastest growing economy of any continent over the next five years.  In its October 2012 World Economic Outlook (WEO), the IMF noted that 10 of the world's fastest growing economies are found in Sub-Saharan Africa and 2 from the Middle East/North Africa.
"The trend is less dependency on Europe and more intra-Africa trade. More goods are being made in Africa and are staying in Africa. The shape is changing and we are seeing greater trade flow between countries in Africa as opposed to trade between continents," Brewer said.
Source [BusinessDayLive]

The Eurozone Crisis cloud too has had its proverbial silver lining with many African economies being forced to reorientate themselves away from their traditional European markets in search of new ones, particularly in the Middle East and Asia.

IATA noted that the "outstanding bright spot" for 2012 was the development of trade between Asia and Africa which supported strong growth for airlines based in the Middle East (14.7%) and Africa (7.1%) with African and Middle Eastern cargo carriers benefiting from new trade routes developing between the two regions. Overall it noted, Africa’s freight capacity grew 9.2% for 2012.