July 20, 2016: The Durban office of AMI, the world’s largest trade-only airfreight and express wholesaler, has seen healthy growth of 7.4 percent in the first quarter, but this was overtaken by the second quarter’s growth at 118 percent.
As a result, AMI’s Durban traffic has grown by 59 percent for the year to date compared to 2015.
Milton French, AMI’s VP Africa, believes the growth trend is fuelled by the recent increase in Durban’s international air connections, and AMI’s policy of supporting local flights wherever possible.
“When our Durban operation was opened in April 2003, the aim was to provide more localised export and import services for cargo agents, says French.
“At that time, many of them dealt directly with AMI in Johannesburg. There were no direct international flights to and from Durban, and most of the cargo was routed via JNB by RFS or domestic flights.
French explains that the use of direct services is not only benefiting local customers, but is also assisting AMI Johannesburg, by taking pressure off the airport’s cargo infrastructure that can cause backlogs in exports and imports.
Nevertheless, AMI still provides RFS and domestic air links between Durban and Jo’burg, when they are needed to connect with those carriers which do not fly into Durban.
French, adds, “There are no specific commodities driving it: the traffic increase is very general and ever-changing.”
He concludes, “There is evidence that our fly-direct policy is winning market share from co-loaders. So we expect the growth to continue for the foreseeable future.”
AMI’s South African business operates through branches in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.
During January-April 2016, AMI held an 8.3 percent share of the total South African airfreight market. In May, it ranked third in the country’s airfreight agents’ league table.
Photo: (L to R) Yegandren Arnachellam, branch manager and Alyssa Naidoo, sales and servicing manager.