Airfreight into South Africa

The strain that Covid has placed on supply chains has been astronomical. It raised consumer demand which resulted in an influx of imports and exports, an influx which the logistics industry was not prepared for. We have been faced with shortages of containers, vessels, trucks, trains & stock. While shippers and carriers scurried to try and bridge these gaps the consumers’ demand kept rising. As a result, some shipments take too long to reach their end destination because vessels are omitting ports to preserve schedule liability. This is where airfreight can save the day. It is the quickest way to get urgently required items from the other side of the world to your door.

What is airfreight (and Why Does it Matter)?

Airfreight is the transportation of cargo with the use of an aircraft. Airfreight services are the most valuable when it comes to moving express shipments around the globe.

Airfreight can be separated into 3 main categories:

  1. Freight loaded on passenger airlines.
  2. Freight loaded on dedicated cargo planes.
  3. Huge payloads loaded in super cargo planes.

Nearly every passenger flight is carrying some freight along with passengers’ baggage. Freight is consolidated and stored in containers, shaped to fit to the inside of the cargo hold. The load floor is equipped with electric rollers. Once a pallet is pushed through the doorway, the electric rollers are used to move it to the front or rear of the cargo hold.

The History of Airfreight

In 1910 the very first airfreight shipment, on a cargo-only plane, took to the skies. The flight, carrying 91 kg of silk, departed from Dayton, USA and touched down in Columbus, USA, 105 km away. The journey took 57 minutes to complete and was carried out in the Wright Brothers’ Model B plane.

An important event in the history of airfreight took place in 1945 when IATA, the International Air Transport Association, was formed. Airlines carrying cargo only started to emerge and planes now had the capacity to travel further and faster.

Terms to Know

  • AWB – Air Waybill
  • MAWB – Master Air Waybill
  • HAWB – House Air Waybill
  • ATA – Actual Time of Arrival
  • ATD – Actual Time of Departure
  • Bonded Warehouse – A warehouse authorized by customs service authorities for the storage of goods won which payment of duties is deferred until the goods enter the customs territory.
  • Combi Aircraft – An aircraft configured to carry both passengers and cargo on the Main Deck.
  • IATA – International Air Transport Association. The association promotes safety, standardization, and aids in establishing international airfares.

Supporting Cluster Post to Include:

The Pros and Cons of airfreight


  • Timeous
  • Extensive global reach
  • Accurate shipping dates
  • Increased safety


  • Expensive
  • Size and weight limitations
  • Weather delays

Airfreight through C. Steinweg Logistics

Our experienced team offers a complete airfreight product. We are committed to arranging and overseeing, both boutique & tailored solutions for our clients’ needs. We move all types of commodities including automotive components, perishables, chemicals, precious metals, industrial and mining equipment. arrange collection of cargo from any location worldwide and effectively offer import, export, and cross-trade solutions through our global network of owned and partner agencies. We can move goods from any location around the world on scheduled routes and ad-hoc basis through services such as consolidation, back-to-back, express, air charter, out-of-gauge, and courier. Cargo types handled daily include general, high value, hazardous, temperature controlled, NCACC regulated and emergency aid.

As an IATA approved freight forwarder, our dedicated airfreight team negotiate and manage cost-effective, reliable, flexible solutions for our clients’ volumes, directly with accredited carriers.

On arrival in Johannesburg all cargo is securely transferred, either loose or in BUP’s, by approved secure transporters to the bonded C. Steinweg Logistics Airfreight Facility in Kempton Park. For added peace of mind all cargo is subjected to a detailed receiving process, which notes all discrepancies. Once Cargo is checked in it is placed into the bonded degroup area, pending final clearance. Once final cleared collected/delivery takes place.

C. Steinweg Bridge was founded in 1980, we therefore have over 40 years’ experience importing and exporting to and from the African continent. We are part of the C. Steinweg Group, which was founded in 1847, 175 years ago. We have a well-established network of offices and agents across the globe, we are thusly a one stop shop for all your airfreight requirements.