Volumes on the up despite global challenges

In a market disrupted by maxed-out air capacity, congested ocean freight, and skyrocketing freight rates, it’s understandable why consolidations are on the up. According to Martin Bruno Keck, group CEO at SACO CFR, there is a clear move towards consolidations

by Liesl Venter – Freight News

In a market disrupted by maxed-out air capacity, congested ocean freight, and skyrocketing freight rates, it’s understandable why consolidations are on the up. According to Martin Bruno Keck, group CEO at SACO CFR, there is a clear move towards consolidations. “This is definitely due to carrier space constraints and extremely high freight rates,” he told Freight News. “ The break-even points for coload out to consolidators is the most viable option at present.”

 SACO CFR offers through Bills of Lading from anywhere in the world to all southern African countries. As a member of the WorldWide Alliance (WWA), it has full integration available for CargoWise users as well as locally customised integrations through its own IT solutions. The company also has a strong airfreight component, with import services from Asia, Europe and North America growing consistently. In the consolidation business neutrality, however, is key, says Keck.

“Consolidating cargo has numerous advantages, including significant cost advantages and added reliability. There are also opportunities for high volume loads, while blocked space agreements on both air and ocean hold value for shippers.” He says the biggest advantage of using a neutral consolidator is the personalised service it delivers to customers, supported by up-to-date IT solutions. The sector, however, is not without its challenges at present. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, space constraints remain a major issue. “This is not specifically reduced to consolidation,” explains Keck. “Space constraints are a challenge at present both on air and ocean across the shipping industry. Sailing integrity is at its lowest. We are seeing containers getting rolled or being left behind at transhipment locations, which results in huge delays in the supply chain.

 In South Africa in particular one of the biggest challenges is still port productivity.” His outlook for the long term is, however, very positive. “Despite the challenges we are seeing increased volumes, although the global economy is slowing down for a variety of reasons – including the ongoing war in Europe and very high inflation rates. Despite this, the immediate future is positive. Looking ahead it will become increasingly important for consolidators to remain relevant. Skills development is imperative in this industry. We have to educate, upskill and train our people and employees continuously.”

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