“The addition of the 757 aircraft is part of our fleet. We’ve got nine aircrafts operating in West Africa,” Randy Buday, Managing Director, DHL Express told CNBC Africa.
The logistics company announced its investment in air infrastructure in West Africa to meet the demand for express and freight services in the region. The 757 aircraft is an addition to the three aircrafts operating in the region already.
“We’ve got eight other aircrafts and they are based in Senegal, Ivory Coast, Togo and Gabon, and Nigeria is the gateway ... where all the aircrafts converge,” he added.
The express delivery company has taken advantage of the online shopping boom in Nigeria, as they now currently do the last mile distribution for the two largest online retail companies and they are seeing significant growth. Unfortunately, lack of proper infrastructure in the country has led them in making such investments.
“Most of the passenger airlines fly passengers, there’s very little space or cargo space and the other thing is the unreliability of the airlines. This is why we needed to put out our own 3737 DHL aircrafts to fly to Abuja and Port Harcourt,” he said.
According to him, the growth engine of Nigeria is shifting from the oil and gas sector to the fast moving consumer goods sector, retail businesses and telecoms.
“If you look at the mix of our volumes coming in and out, yes its oil and gas but more and more its becoming consumer related. Pharmaceuticals, life sciences. The whole dynamics of the market has changed,” he explained.
The company is seeing tremendous growth in the FMGC sector despite them starting out with the oil and gas sector. Traditionally the airline network was set up to handle high volumes such as the tools for the oil and gas industry, however, this is changing quickly.