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Shipping & Logistics

DHL rolls out China-Africa cargo flight

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
Goods are loaded onto a cargo plane. . FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Deutsche Post DHL, Global Forwarding has launched a dedicated 100-tonne weekly air freight service for organisations and governments shipping goods from China to Africa and Middle East. This comes as a boost when most countries are grappling with how to transport cargo due to the grounding of most planes by airlines due to the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.

Capitalising on Dubai's strategic geographical location as the gateway to countries in the region, the international logistics giant will consolidate cargo from across China into Guangzhou and air freight them via Dubai to their various destinations across Africa and Middle East.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to disrupt trade flows and supply chains, air freight capacity is also significantly affected by travel restrictions and the grounding of commercial passenger airlines. The new flight has, therefore, come in handy to assist in uplifting relief and medical supplies to more than 1.6 billion people in the region.

DHL Global Forwarding Middle East and Africa chief executive officer Amadou Diallo said the company will ensure the supplies are delivered within three days.

Leveraging DHL's global network and Dubai's status as a transit hub, Mr Diallo said the solutions will bridge the current gap in uplift from China.

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"DHL Global Forwarding is bolstering logistics support to our customers in the region who need to ensure stable supply chains, especially for medical and critical supplies during this critical period. With multiple flight cancellations that has strained worldwide air freight capacity, we remain committed to leveraging our capabilities, global network and customized solutions to ensure that goods and critical resources continue to reach people and communities in Africa and the Middle East," said Mr Diallo.

The CEO said the much-needed personal protective gear such as masks, gloves, hand sanitisers and goggles and other basic goods during this pandemic will make up the bulk of the cargo.

"With its geographical location and superior infrastructure as a transit hub, Dubai plays a key role as a gateway between China and the rest of Africa and the Middle East," he said.

Africa is Dubai's third largest trading partner in volume terms and Africa's non-oil trade with Dubai has been growing steadily over the last decade, accounting for 10.5 per cent of the emirate's total non-oil foreign trade in 2018.

Whilst the secured uplift from China will be in operation for four weeks starting April 21, DHL Global Forwarding is actively seeking to secure routes to all of Africa and boost capacity to the Middle East and Africa in the longer term.

DHL is the leading global brand in the logistics industry which offers range of logistics services ranging from national and international parcel delivery, e-commerce shipping and fulfillment solutions, international express, road, air and ocean transport to industrial supply chain management to more than 220 countries.

The Group generated revenues of more than $68 billion in 2019.

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