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FROM MAGAZINE: Ushering in Air Cargo Africa 2019

The all-important ‘Air Cargo Africa 2019’ is a month away and here’s where the global air cargo fraternity will come together to interact with industry stalwarts and discuss the challenges concerning the industry and future of the sector.

Ushering in Air Cargo Africa 2019
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Ushering in Air Cargo Africa 2019

The all-important ‘Air Cargo Africa 2019’ is a month away and here’s where the global air cargo fraternity will come together to interact with industry stalwarts and discuss the challenges concerning the industry and future of the sector. The highlight of the event remains the commodity specific conferences that will provide an equal opportunity for high yield shippers/exporters, key policymakers and other stakeholders in the supply chain to deliberate on the opportunities and challenges that arise in the shipping of flowers, automotive, pharmaceuticals and e-commerce goods.

Surya Kannoth

Cargo heads and logistics professionals from across the globe are packing their bags to Johannesburg in February to participate in the fifth edition of the most awaited ‘Air Cargo Africa 2019’. Themed ‘Liberalisation & Modernisation – the way to push frontiers of excellence in air freight industry in Africa’, the event will be held from February 19 to 21 at The Emperors Palace in the City of Ekurhuleni, South Africa.

The three day event, this time is being organised by Messe Munchen along with STAT Media and looks at exploring and tapping the enormous potential within the emerging markets of the African continent. The continent, which presents a mix of great promise and major obstacles when it comes to its economic development and the growth of its air freight industry, has witnessed a significant degree of investment in infrastructure – including foreign direct investment from China, in particular. With this in context, the event, through its conference sessions, aims to address the painpoints and look at ways to ensure African countries fulfill their potential in terms of civil aviation, and air cargo in particular.

The sessions will bring to the fore important subjects such as ‘air cargo in the digital era - from digitisation to digitalisation’, ‘trade barriers and populist agendas - headwinds and tailwinds for air cargo industry’, ‘future of unmanned vehicles in air cargo’ and ‘China’s belt and road initiative and investments in Africa’. The sessions will also will demonstrate how factors such as technological innovations mainly in the areas of Data Analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) popularly known as drones and e-commerce boom will prove to be a game changer for the industry.

Keeping up with its earlier successful formats of round table discussions that saw participation in huge numbers from the shippers and the logistics service providers, Air Cargo Africa’s commodity specific conferences will provide an opportunity to the shippers and other stakeholders involved in the supply chain to meet and discuss opportunities and challenges. This time, in addition to commodities such as flowers, pharma and automotives, ‘ecommerce’ will be discussed at length in Air Shippers’ Forum.

Automotive Air Shippers Forum, sponsored by Frankfurt Airport for the second time in Air Cargo Africa, will be held on the first day of the event. The session will take a holistic approach where carmakers, original equipment manufacturers, logistics providers, infrastructure operators, as well as airlines and airports will join to debate the strategies best suited to tomorrow’s global supply chain scene.

The Air Shippers’ Forum on flowers, scheduled on Day 1, will be attended by major growers, specialist forwarders, handlers, airports, airlines, truckers and perishables supply chain experts, providing a forum for debate.

The Pharma Air Shippers Forum, hosted by Miami International Airport, on the second day of the event, will see logistics and supply chain heads of leading pharmaceutical manufacturing companies, pharma exporters, specialist forwarders, airports, airlines, handlers, truckers, cold chain experts, pharma logisticians, and government regulators deliberate on key areas of challenges and opportunities in the pharma export and supply chain.

Ecommerce, one of the most discussed topics in recent times, will be deliberated on the day two of the event and is being sponsored by Liege Airport.

The voices of the biggest names in the air cargo industry will be heard during the conference sessions. Industry stalwarts who will make their presence felt at the event include Glyn Hughes, Global Head of Cargo, IATA; Peter Gerber, CEO, Lufthansa Cargo; Omar Talal Hariri, CEO, Saudia Cargo; Guillaume Halleux, COO, Qatar Airways Cargo; Tewolde Gebremariam, Group CEO, Ethiopian Airlines; Sanjeev Gadhia, Founder & CEO, Astral Aviation; Youssef (Joe) Beydoun, Head of Cargo Business Relationships, Dubai Airports; David Logan, CEO, The South African Association of Freight Forwarders among others.

Air Cargo Africa 2019 has won the support of Swissport as its Diamond Partner while Qatar Airways Cargo comes in as Platinum Partner. Airports Company South Africa is contributing to the event as the Emerald Partner while Miami International Airport is the Silver Partner for the event. The exhibitor lanyards and the registration desk are being sponsored by National Air Cargo. Other partners include ATC Aviation, Cargo Flash, Atlas Air and Frankfurt Hahn Airport.

The ‘Welcome Reception’ will be hosted by Airports Company South Africa on February 18 for the air cargo community. The theme dinner on Day 1 of the event is being hosted by Qatar Airways Cargo.

One of the integral parts of every Air Cargo Africa edition is the STAT Times International Award for Excellence in Air Cargo which is organised on the evening of the second day. The gala event, this time, is being hosted by Diamond Partner Swissport.

The mobile application of Air Cargo Africa 2019 allows users with quick and easy access to details of all participants at the event. Participants can log on to the app to schedule one-on- one meetings, chat with delegates, locate exhibitors, access the floor plan, event map, conference schedule and speaker details. This smartphone app is available on all formats - iPhone and Android and can be downloaded from the App store and Google Playstore.

An interesting highlight of the exhibition will be the Pharma.Aero pavilion, where the participating strategic members of Pharma.Aero will be present. The Pharma.Aero pavilion is a cross-industry initiative, on which different operators are clustered together with airports and pharma shippers.

More than 60 companies from across the globe which include international airlines, airports, airport operators, ground handing agents, IT solution providers, aircraft manufacturers, freighter conversion companies, general sales and services agents, terminal operators and others will showcase their world-class products and services at the mega event.

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