Global logistics giant DHL Express revealed today that it recently bought a new cargo plane, an ATR 42, to service the Johannesburg, Harare and Lusaka route.
The company said its decision to invest in a new aircraft was triggered by the rapid growth in trade within Southern Africa, with South Africa currently being the main provider of shipments into the region.
DHL Express MD Hennie Heymans said the new plane will increase freight capacity significantly and meet the rising freight demand.
DHL Express has noticed noteworthy increases for this particular route, managing director MD Hennie Heymans said, adding that trade volumes from South Africa to Zambia reported a year-on-year increase of 72.7% in June 2013 from 14 712 to 25 400 tons.
The aircraft has a larger cargo door than its predecessor, the B1900D, which facilitates for greater loading flexibility for customers’ shipments, the company said.
It is also significantly larger, allowing for a larger payload.
The company said the new aircraft will join its current fleet of more than 250 aircraft and will primarily service Southern Africa routes from Zambia to South Africa and Zimbabwe, thus increasing connectivity in the regions and growing capacity and trade volumes between these countries.
The quantity of cargo between the South Africa and Zambia route has accelerated in the last three months, while shipments from Zambia to South Africa increased year-on-year by 72.8%, the company said.
Volumes from South Africa to Zimbabwe have also increased by 29.4% over the same period.
This investment will improve DHL’s connectivity and infrastructure within South Africa, as well as Southern Africa, an elated Heymans said.
Recent International Air Transport Association (IATA) Cargo Market Analysis report revealed that Africa continues to outperform its peers with impressive growth statistics.
“It is extremely positive that the African continent continues to outpace many Western economies, and demonstrates the continued and increasing importance of Africa in the international trade arena,” he concluded.
The DHL new cargo plane, an ATR 42. Photo supplied