Airfreight facility for fresh goods planned for Durban

Posted On Monday, 29 December 2003 02:00 Published by
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PLANS are afoot to establish a perishable goods airfreight facility at Durban International Airport, which will bring substantial benefits for flower and vegetable growers in the region

Trade and Industry Correspondent

PLANS are afoot to establish a perishable goods airfreight facility at Durban International Airport, which will bring substantial benefits for flower and vegetable growers in the region.

A business plan to this end is being considered by the province's economic development and tourism department.

It is estimated that there is potential demand for about 70000 tons a year of perishable goods to be handled at the proposed Durban facility.

Most perishable goods produced in KwaZulu-Natal and destined for foreign markets are exported through Johannesburg International Airport.

Transport times and costs are critical factors in the perishable goods business, thus any improvements would have a direct effect on producers' bottom line.

An airfreight facility at Durban would allow perishable goods producers to reach their markets quicker and at a lower cost.

The department is conducting a feasibility study to set up a perishable trade management office to facilitate the establishment of a airfreight facility at Durban airport. The initiative would be a joint venture with perishable goods producers.

The original timetable envisaged for the launch of the perishable trade management office was last month, but the department says the business plan was taking longer to prepare than initially expected.

However, a detailed plan as part of the feasibility study is being considered.

The business plan indicates that about 16000 tons a year can be immediately exported through Durban International Airport. This includes cut flowers, vegetables and pineapples.

"An additional 53600 tons can be sourced from neighbouring provinces in the form of perishables and dry cargo," said a spokesman for the department.

"The consultants estimate that these volumes would constitute 15% of current Johannesburg International Airport volumes."

The department spokesman said that once the plan was accepted by the department, the project would be implemented.

 


Publisher: Business Report
Source: Business Report

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