Crime statistics for the first quarter of 2021/2022 confirm a steep 107.6% increase in truck hijackings, while cash-in-transit heists have accelerated by a massive 142.1% (SAPS). This has added another challenge to the logistics of vulnerable and high-value goods, en route as well as on arrival. The need for secure airside facilities with quick turnaround times is becoming increasingly important.

“These numbers bear out our concern that the safety of cargo in transit is one of the biggest challenges for the logistics industry in South Africa,” says Martin Taylor, Risk Manager at Rhenus Logistics South Africa.

Despite the fact that the international airports in South Africa are deemed National Key Points, the brazen theft that occurs after airline touchdown has rendered such airports as happy hunting grounds for syndicates.

With the Rhenus airside facility at OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA), these risks are largely eliminated, as it gives the logistics specialist full control over the handling from the moment the consignment touches the ground. Rhenus provides customers the advantage of the safe and quick turnaround of airfreight at ORTIA.

The airside facility is particularly suited for the secure handling of high-risk cargo. These goods include electronics, pharmaceuticals, currency, and other high-value items. “Such items may be particularly vulnerable to theft or pilferage, and we have the level of expertise to minimise the risk of theft and combat the criminal element,” says Taylor.

Rhenus Logistics acquired a facility at ORTIA to create an end-to-end solution for vulnerable air imports and exports, enabling it to draw cargo directly from the airside and control the full handling process from the moment of landing. The Rhenus team is onsite and handles the process in its entirety.

“Our facility includes material handling equipment, racking, and bulk storage, as well as a category 5 vault on site. We provide the highest level of security with 24/7 camera surveillance, armed guards, as well as advanced access and perimeter security that is completed with a generator,” continues Taylor.

“We are well-positioned at ORTIA as our facility enables direct access, bypassing third party handling, to eliminate costly delays and risky exposure. This means faster transit times from ORTIA to our warehouses, improved transparency, better communication, and lower risk, due to reduced waiting times.”

The Rhenus turn-around rate is extremely fast. Company representatives can collect the dedicated load distribution unit (LDU) directly from the aircraft. “From arrival at the airport to goods loading and out the gate, we only need two hours, cutting down the transit time to a minimum,” explains Taylor.