Africa: The view of UPS

Q: How have UPS’ operations changed on the African continent over the past two years?
A: Connecting with African-domiciled customers is a key to growth, so [we] have been focusing more on the needs of the African customer, both from an export and import perspective. Approaching the African mar-ketplace in this manner aligns us with the global aspirations of the African business community.
Q: How have the African economies affected that?
A: Africa, in general, is a continent that is undertaking many different initiatives to help its inclusion and contribution to overall global trade. The World Bank has an annual survey, Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency, where it ranks the ease of doing business in 189 countries across the globe.
The findings were interesting this year. We noticed that five out of the 10 top improver economies came from sub-Saharan Africa. The region also accounted for the largest set of regulatory reforms making it easier to do business in the past year—75 of the 230 worldwide. So, yes, the economies are affecting positive change to help make it easier to do business.
Q: What are the challenges for profitable operations in Africa?
A: The typical challenges that have been on the radar screen of many companies continue to exist. Relevant to the logistics industry and our customers are issues such as security, sound infrastructure, congestion at key air and seaports and customs clearing processes.
Despite the challenges we deal with every day, consumer spending in Africa is set to rise 80 per cent by 2020. If you’re not collaborating closely with your logistics provider, you really should be. That is, if you want to be part of that growth.
Q: What is the UPS strategy for Africa over the next three years?
A: Our overall strategy is simple, but hard to execute. It is the one we have been executing over the past couple of years, which is by understanding what we can do to help [our customers] grow. It’s a constant process of learning about needs and how to address them, and how to overcome challenges together. We’ve learnt a thing or two about moving vital supplies, such as vaccines and medicines, in a challenging environment with patchy infrastructure. The learning that comes from this work continues to provide better insight into what is needed to grow and expand in this space.
Q: The African Union has just agreed to implement an African Open Skies policy. This has been discussed for years, but this progress sounds positive. Do you have any thoughts on it, what it means for Africa and for the aviation industry?
A: Africa is a continent that desperately needs better infrastructure to connect and support its booming economies. The aviation industry has a tremendous potential to enhance and contribute to the economic growth and development in Africa.
Open Skies has the ability to offer better market connectivity between countries and to open the ones that are currently closed. By doing this, the African community will be able to better connect into the global supply chain, which, as I mentioned earlier, is what the African consumer is aspiring to.
This will eventually lead to increased service levels, lower fares, more job creation; this has a positive collateral spill-over effect by facilitating increased traffic volumes, tourism, trade and productivity to name a few. Open Skies is a win-win for the African community and for the aviation and logistics industry.

Share this story

Related Topics

Latest africa news

Astral Aviation diversifies cargo fleet with 737 freighter

Astral Aviation has grown and diversified its fleet with the lease of its first Boeing 737-400 freighter from Canadian lessor…

Read More

Share this story

RwandAir Cargo expands freighter network

RwandAir Cargo is launching new services from its Kugali hub to Dubai and Djibouti to be operated by its Boeing…

Read More

Share this story

Qatar Cargo undertakes roarsome flight

Qatar Airways Cargo has again teamed up with Animal Defenders International (ADI) to transport six young lions to Africa after…

Read More

Share this story

Air Cargo News

Air Cargo News
Established in 1983, Air Cargo News is the leading source of news, information, interviews, analyses and reports to the global airfreight industry. Our leading portfolio includes print, digital and events that give businesses in the airfreight industry the ability to connect with decision-makers in this sector.