April 10 - Dube Cargo Terminal at South Africa's King Shaka International Airport has witnessed the second landing of an Antonov AN-124 bringing in 80 tonnes of highly specialised spools, which form part of the main furnace at a local oil refinery.

The shipment was managed by Sebenza Forwarding and Shipping and represents the terminal's largest airfreight shipment to date - with components ranging from 4 to 16 m in length, 1 to 3 m in width and 2 to 4 m in height.

Justin Naidoo, airfreight controller, Sebenza Forwarding and Shipping says the spools are critical components for the production of fuel at the oil refinery and it was essential that the delivery of these replacement parts, which are of higher grade material, were expedited as efficiently as possible.

The landing rights were secured a few weeks prior to the AN-124's arrival as the cargo was sourced from Germany. The aircraft took two and a half days to reach Durban's King Shaka International Airport, leaving Leipzig Airport and having rest and refuelling stops in Cairo, Egypt and Mombasa, Kenya.

"Dube Cargo Terminal has invested in a specialised outsized cargo handling facility which is equipped with hoists, mobile cranes and conveyor systems to handle bulky or outsized shipments such as large pipes, outsized machinery, motor vehicles, large animals and ocean containers," say Ricardo Isaac, manager of Dube Cargo Terminal.

"The infrastructure to handle outsized cargo allows us to be flexible in enabling more specialised charter flights as well as growing cargo throughput by facilitating sea to air connections via the increased cargo capacity from the air services that already fly directly to Durban.  By doing so, we are confident that we will continue to stimulate more growth in the local market. In the last 12 months we have seen a steady growth in excess of 20 percent in cargo throughput."