DHL Global Forwarding has expanded its sea-air product to eight new destinations in Africa, further strengthening the Asia-Africa trade lane.
DHL now boasts 26 air-sea destinations in Africa that can link up with more than 40 Asian destinations. These Asia-Africa shipments will be sent by ocean to Dubai and flown on pre-booked air cargo flights to Africa.
With the new additions, the DHL SEAIR program is now available in Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Brazzaville, Pointe Noir and Kinshasa, Congo; Dakar, Senegal; Luanda, Angola; Douala, Cameroon; and Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
“Trade between Asia and Africa rose more than 400 percent in the past decade. The accelerating rate of Asian trade and investment in Africa holds great promise for Africa’s economic growth and development, and maintaining this momentum is key. As such, the need for speedy and cost-effective connectivity between the two regions has never been greater," Kelvin Leung, DHL's chief executive officer for Asia Pacific, said in a statement.
According to a press release, the sea-air multimodal service is 30 percent to 50 percent faster than pure ocean transport, with a cost savings over pure air shipping of up to 60 percent. The combined service also offers a lower environmental impact than traditional air freight. DHL noted a sea-air shipment from Malaysia to the United Kingdom took 20 days less time than ocean freight would have, while emitting 2.7 times less CO2
than an air freight shipment.
Although the sea-air cost savings is impressive, some in the industry have started to see a lower reliance on sea-air transport due to the level of available air cargo capacity in the market. While a capacity crunch could be affecting Asia air cargo rates, most officials elsewhere see very low air cargo rates due to both belly-hold and freighter capacity, so traditional sea-air customers are choosing pure air cargo as a faster, cheaper way to transport their freight. - Jon Ross