Heathrow loses out to sea

WHILE the sea-air cargo movement has flourished in recent years, some businesses are looking to cut the air option out all together when the weather turns bad.

Heavy snowfall in December hit Heathrow hard, resulting in African business investor Lonrho pulling out of its air cargo arrangement and heading for the sea.

Lonrho previously used aircraft to transport its Africa-grown produce to European retail giants such as Marks & Spencer and Tesco.

The John Deere retailer-to-hotels conglomerate said that its Rollex business, which from its base in South Africa exports fruits and vegetables from throughout the continent, had lost £700,000 (US$1.129 million) in turnover to December’s chaos at Heathrow, which was closed by snow for four consecutive days.

Rollex has since approached shippers to guarantee deliveries to its European buyers, which also include the likes of Sainsbury’s, TFC Holland and Univeg. This back-up to airfreight has been enabled by refrigeration advances.

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