Airfreight volumes through Durban’s Dube Cargo Terminal spike

Airfreight volumes through Dube TradePort’s Cargo Terminal have risen significantly  over the past six months.

Image: Dube TradePort Corporation

This is due to the effects of congestion and slow-throughput capacity at South Africa’s major ports ripples across the supply chain. 

Durban's air cargo operations, handled through the Dube Cargo Terminal at King Shaka International Airport, have been on the rise over the financial years 2022/2023 and 2023/2024. 

However, demand for airfreight spiked over the past  four months leading into 2024 with cargo throughput rising by 57% quarter-on-quarter from September to December 2023, and port challenges continued to drive significant demand towards airfreight in January 2024. 

“This significant increase in airfreight has been observed across various industries, from perishables to automotive, the latter traditionally being reliant on ocean freight. This emphasises the need of these industries to ensure uninterrupted production and timely delivery to export markets,” said Ricardo Isaac, Dube Cargo Terminal senior manager, cargo development and operations.

"From September through to December 2023, we saw fruit exports to the Middle East and European markets double in volume compared with the same period last year. On the automotive side, in November we saw volumes approximately 30% higher than normal being moved through our airfreight cargo terminal,” he said.