An air freight pipeline to bring vital supplies to South Africa utilising special airfreight charters has taken off with the aim of stabilising the supply chain and increasing capacity to address the gaps created by the Covid 19 pandemic lockdown while assisting as a stimulus for the economy.
The nationwide project driven by a company independent of the freight forwarding industry to enable non-conflictive inclusivity and ethical trade has attracted support from businesses such as Bidvest International Logistics (BIL), BidAir and Savino Del Bene, and organisations including the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF), B4SA and BUSA. The initiative is open to all local freight forwarding companies and consolidators with CFR Freight already on board as a collaborator.
It is facilitated through an all-inclusive shared-space air charter solution underpinned by a compliant and transparent administration process according to the CEO of tvg&associates (TVG) Teresita van Gaalen who says the next flight is scheduled for Friday 05 June
“We have undertaken the project to help secure a number of all-important socio-economic factors in South Africa during the national State of Disaster. Collaboration between all parties is essential in the current circumstances and the intention is to ensure a stable and inclusive supply chain facilitated by a channel that offers the highest levels of impartiality, good governance and a seamless interaction with agents. It will also open the way for smaller businesses to benefit,” says Van Gaalen, well-known as an independent director in mining and motor industries.
WarHorse will centralise and coordinate activities through the www.warhorse.africa website allowing equal participation by all potential players. “The initiative has been structured in such a way that apart from sharing the airfreight space, it will be business as usual for each agent. The single online platform will coordinate enquiries for shared space for the importation and exports of goods to activate this supply chain solution, to enable increased airfreight capacity in a manner that is sustainable to reach the Region and impact supply throughout South Africa.
One of the key supporters of the initiative, Kobus Maree, CEO of the freight forwarding company Savino Del Bene points out that South Africa is competing with the rest of the world for many of the products urgently needed in the country. “It is crucial that we ease the way for importers to get the cargo to South Africa in a timely and cost-effective way. WarHorse is a project able to instantly put aside suspicions between competitors in the freight forwarding industry and grasp the opportunity to help reignite the economy while bringing benefits to people on the ground, especially when it comes to urgently needed personal protective equipment and medical supplies.”
“The WarHorse team will procure charter aircraft including the payment of the costs and then rebill the agents on a cost basis dependant on percentage utilisation where required. Each agent will be responsible for their own billing to their clients in the same manner that is currently followed when utilising commercial airlines. The cargo sanitisation will follow the current standards and requirements of government regulation and is under the control of the airline handling agent in South Africa,” she points out.
The South African Association of Freight Forwarders SAAFF is assisting by providing information and expertise via the Association’s portal through the links which have been established.
Van Gaalen says it is also important not to lose sight of the fact that this initiative is a contribution to alleviating some of the difficulties encountered through the Covid 19 pandemic and an inclusive avenue for players to assist in achieving this. “Presently the Warhorse team bolstered by industry professionals is providing cargo space and discussions are ongoing with airlines, airfreight consolidators and forwarding agents locally and abroad. The spirit of the WarHorse initiative is now resonating through the business sector and key players in the industry.