As consolidations continue to gain traction in an increasingly competitive market, Freight NewsFeatures editor Liesl Venter spoke to Milton French and Morne Erskine of Air Menzies International (AMI) for their insights on groupage trends in the airfreight sector
FN: In today’s dynamic market environment, considering a freight consolidation solution is more necessary than ever. Do you agree and why? AMI: We absolutely agree, yes. Airfreight prices have become inflated so any reduction in the rates is a welcome relief to clients and necessary to keep the airfreight option viable. Freight consolidation allows for improved rates. FN: How accessible and viable an option is consolidation really? Is it just for larger companies or is it viable for any supply chain? AMI: No, consolidation is no longer an option for the big players only, it is viable for all freight forwarders. In fact, it remains a viable option in the airfreight sector despite the grounding of fleets and closure of routes. It is just not available to and from as many destinations. FN: What are the biggest challenges facing consolidators at present? AMI: It is still very challenging to achieve competitive rates and secure space into some regions due to the current Covid-19 conditions. This means fewer f lights in general. There are limited passenger f lights as well as cargo-only f lights. Space restrictions and competitive rates are, however, both a global and local challenge. Much of the airfreight cargo has been converted to sea freight due to the inflated prices in the market. It is also important to highlight that cargo in the system, i.e. vaccines, attract higher pricing and therefore secure prime space. FN: What are the trends that you are seeing in the consolidations sector? AMI: We are seeing a gradual increase in volumes which is great, but capacity is becoming tight into some regions. Airlines are then upselling rates to gain capacity, but this is not ideal for us or our clients. Rates f luctuate on a daily basis. FN: What would you say are the top benefits of consolidation? AMI: Without a doubt the neutrality, secured space, competitive rates, the one-stop shop, a worldwidenetwork and last but not least, the overall great service it ensures. It removes the headache by offering solutions that work. A door-to-door worldwide consolidation airfreight logistics solution can be a very real advantage to shippers.