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Custom DACHSER technology supports truly intelligent warehousing

In a challenging environment of escalating supply chain costs, the demand for intelligent logistics with optimal efficiency and a tailored offering is critical. The pandemic has only accelerated the development of logistics warehouses into flexible, specialised and digitally-enabled spaces to meet the evolving requirements of their customers.

Break Bulk Service between Frankfurt and Johannesburg

Airfreight consolidation, or break bulk, is the consolidation of several shipments from various shippers that are destined for the same port or airport overseas. DACHSER South Africa provides a bi-weekly consolidation/break bulk airfreight service between South Africa and Europe, originating in Germany at the company’s Frankfurt Gateway. This offers a cost-effective solution for smaller importers, especially through the challenges of COVID-19. “Different offices in and around Europe deliver cargo into our Frankfurt Gateway and we make use of a weekly service departing from Frankfurt each Saturday and Tuesday. We build up our own unit load devices (ULD), meaning cargo pallet, for the carriers to ship to Johannesburg”, says Detlev Duve Managing Director of DACHSER South Africa.

“Various customers can make up these units, which are moved under one Master Airway Bill. Each consignment is designated to a specific consignee, and  flown to us in South Africa. Once the units arrive in Johannesburg, we break the consolidation apart per House Airway Bill and proceed with customs clearance and other necessary documents.  We then arrange for the cargo to be delivered to our customers.” 

Freight and cargo insurance – a neglected safety net

As logistics involves a network of different partners, goods may pass through multiple transfers, different service providers and various modes of transport en route to the end destination. Most of the time, freight is transported by air or sea without issues. However, all transport carries an element of risk – and it’s important to know that your goods are not automatically covered against damage, theft or loss by liability insurance alone. The additional combination of both freight and cargo insurance provides an essential safety net. Due to the complexity, this should be applied for by an experienced partner in logistics.

Liability coverage protects the carrier or freight forwarder, but does not generally cover damaged cargo. The carrier or freight forwarder can only be proven liable if damage or loss occurs through clear mistakes or negligence during transport. The extent of the carrier of freight forwarder’s liability is however limited, and the maximum amount of compensation they are required to pay usually will not equate to the value of the shippers goods or products.

Supporting Africa’s logistics needs with bulk ocean freight

Before sea freight containers took over sixty years ago, break bulk was the main form of moving cargo. Roughly 90% of all goods worldwide are still shipped by sea, of which 70% is now containerised cargo. Break bulk sea freight however still makes up a significant segment of transportation and has several advantages for clients, whether by air or sea freight, says Detlev Duve, managing director of Dachser South Africa.

Globally, logistics leader Dachser has undertaken many complex break bulk shipments. Due to Africa’s economic reliance on the extraction of natural resources, logistics operators in Africa will often be required to facilitate the movement of large machinery and parts.

Break bulk is where items are not transported in containers, but carried in units such as pallets, bags, drums or crates, or as larger non-unitised cargo. Cargo can be moved in smaller units, and it allows goods to enter less developed ports that are not set up for loading and unloading containers. Break bulk would also be used for hazardous materials, as they have to stay separate.


DACHSER South Africa

Supporting Africa’s logistics needs with bulk ocean freight

Before seafreight containers took over sixty years ago, break bulk was the main form of moving cargo. Roughly 90% of all goods worldwide are still shipped by sea, of which 70% is now containerised cargo. Break bulk seafreight however still makes up a significant segment of transportation and has several advantages for clients, whether by air or seafreight, says Detlev Duve, managing director of DACHSER South Africa.

Globally, logistics leader DACHSER has undertaken many complex break bulk shipments. Due to Africa’s economic reliance on the extraction of natural resources, logistics operators in Africa will often be required to facilitate the movement of large machinery and parts.

DACHSER charters world's largest cargo aircraft

DACHSER Air & Sea Logistics' international teams have chartered the world's largest cargo aircrafts, the Antonovs AN-124 and AN-225. The aircrafts transport medical goods from China to Austria on multiple occasions for a customer, after which DACHSER redistributed the goods through its overland network.

"We have set the course"

2021 was a year of diverse challenges that DACHSER was able to master with great stability and resilience. At the same time, the company set an important strategic course, particularly with regard to its climate protection activities. Here is a text from CEO Burkhard Eling.

Sea freight: update on the global situation

Due to the ongoing disruption of the sea freight market, the after-effects (container shortages and frequent port congestion) continue to impact global supply chains. Below, we provide an update on all developments to minimize potential disruptions to your business.

US West Coast / San Pedro Bay / Port of Los Angeles

  • The situation in the US has improved over the last 6 weeks, but there are still several container ships queuing in San Pedro Bay to enter the port to be unloaded.
  • The impact can still be seen in the sea freight inland logistics chain. The constant and high volume of loaded containers flowing into the U.S. continues to make it difficult to relieve the existing backlog.

Suez Canal

  • Although this incident occurred more than 10 weeks ago, sea freight traffic is still out of balance due to the so-called "ripple effects."
  • After the unblocking of the Suez Canal, European ports were first congested due to the sudden and high inbound volume. This was followed by the Asian ports, especially the Chinese ports.

Ports of Hamburg and Bremerhaven / Rotterdam

  • Due to the blockade of the Suez Canal and the aforementioned "ripple effects", operations at the ports of Hamburg and Bremerhaven were also out of balance.
  • Due to this congestion, shipping companies were induced to re-route ships to Wil-helmshaven or to Rotterdam.
  • Within the Rotterdam operation, delays are now also expected, possibly leading to disruptions in port operations.

Ports of Yantian / Shekou / Nansha

  • Delays are occurring in the South China region (Yantian / Shekou / Nansha, etc.) due to restricted port operations. It is expected that the resumption of regular operations will have to be done gradually and that full capacity cannot be reached in the foreseeable future.

We are in close contact with carriers and service providers on a daily basis and do our best to make your supply chain as smooth as possible. For individual advice, please contact your local representative of DACHSER so that we can implement the best logistics solution for you.

“A high degree of stability and reliability”

Even if concrete forecasts are currently difficult, there is cause for cautious optimism. CEO Burkhard Eling on initial trends and an outlook for 2021.

DACHSER focuses on more loading space

Since April 2021, DACHSER has opted exclusively for so-called ‘mega trailers’ when purchasing new semi-trailers in Germany. Because of their more generous cargo space dimensions - with otherwise the same length and width - the mega trailers achieve better fuel economy than standard semi-trailers, especially over long distances. Full conversion of the German fleet is scheduled to be completed by 2027, with some 680 new mega trailers in total. In the next few years, DACHSER will also start replacing its fleets in the 24 other European countries where it is represented through its European Logistics business line.

Operational disruptions at the port of Hamburg cause backlogs

With this update, DACHSER would like to inform you that port operations in Hamburg are currently affected in their flow due to various factors.

With this update, DACHSER would like to inform you that port operations in Hamburg are currently affected in their flow due to various factors.

The current situation of congestion in the northern and western ports has become even more acute in Hamburg. The deployment of the explosive ordnance disposal service twice to defuse World War II bombs in construction areas and a demonstration by climate activists, which led to the temporary closure of an important access road last week, are causing disruptions in handling operations.

Please note that this is causing significant delays at all operational interfaces in the port of Hamburg area and has created a backlog that will continue for some time.

For detailed information on possible impacts on your current shipments, please contact your local DACHSER representative.

Current situation in India and the impact on DACHSER’s operations

Regarding the current situation in India, we would like to give an update about DACHSER’s operations in India. The situation as of today, April 28, 2021, is as follows:

DACHSER branches in India:

Most branch offices across India are being kept closed as a precautionary measure due to the sudden rise of COVID cases. Our teams are working from home, with only skeletal staff at the offices and hence there are likely to be delays in responses due to the ongoing crisis.

As a consequence of the lockdown, there are some operational impacts for air, sea, customs clearance and domestic trucking.

Air Freight: 

Most countries have barred passenger traffic from India leading to no passenger carrying flights operating on International routes from/to India.

  • This has created some additional constraint on already stressed space availability situation.
  • Rates are bound to inch upwards for all sectors.
  • Transit times too have increased as a consequence of capacity crunch.

Sea Freight:

  • Sea freight was already facing the challenges due to the Suez Canal blockage end of March.  Ports and terminals are functioning normally, but vessel schedules are impacted by the Suez Canal blockage as well as the sudden rise of COVID cases in India.
  • Therefore delays are expected. Customers are advised to factor in delays of 1-2 weeks while planning their inventories.

Expect more delays in communication or operations due to increasing COVID infections among staff at ports, customs, CFS and shipping lines.


We do not have any unexpected disruptions in cargo movement in India, nor is any work stoppage expected at present.

  • Customs clearance activities are functional at the movement.
  • Customs is working with less manpower, no Customs Brokers is allowed to meet the customs officials, all processes is done faceless and things are moving in slow phase.

At DACHSER, we have undertaken significant measures to ensure our employees’ health and safety, at the same time continue to manage our day-to-day operations with minimal impact to our customers’ supply chains. Our teams are working diligently by all possible means in these testing times to assist and to overcome the challenges being faced.

Please rest assured that we will keep you updated of any changes to the current situation. In case of questions, please feel free to contact your local DACHSER representative in the region.

Customer confidence strengthened: Dachser is satisfied with the year´s results

Virtually no dip in company revenue in 2020, the year blighted by Covid-19, with the strong second half offsetting the impact of the European lockdowns in April and May. Investments of EUR 190 million earmarked for logistics capacity, technical equipment, and digital systems.

Kempten, April 13, 2021 - Dachser can look back on a successful 2020, which was characterized by the loyalty and climate of mutual trust between the logistics provider, its customers, and its transport partners. Dachser’s consolidated net revenue totaled EUR 5.61 billion, a slight decrease of 0.9 percent compared to the previous year.

DACHSER South Africa expands coastal cross-docking facilities

Cross-docking, where inbound cargo is unloaded from an incoming container, sorted and then loaded directly to outbound carriers, is an important logistics strategy that keeps supply chains moving in a productive, effective manner.  Logistics leader, DACHSER South Africa, has recently expanded its Durban operations to a new 3600sqm warehouse in Pinetown, Durban.


“The new off-loading and loading bays have increased our capacity to handle a number of containers at a time, enabling us to offer excellent turn-around times,” says Detlev Duve, DACHSER South Africa, Managing Director,  “The facility provides a dedicated central site for products to be sorted for delivery to multiple destinations in the most productive way, saving costs. Ultimately, our customers benefit from a more efficient supply chain.”


Deidre Smith, DACHSER Sea Freight Imports Manager,  says, “We’re able to consolidate shipments, or even break down larger shipments into smaller loads, for easier delivery. Storage and handling costs can be reduced as products spend less time in the warehouse. Cargo also typically reaches its final destination faster, giving our customers a competitive edge.”


Further to a spacious, well-equipped warehouse, Smith says that experienced staff and effective planning are the foundations of a successful operation. “Skilled staff are vital to the operation and management  of the warehouse.  From expert inventory control using Warehouse Management Systems,  through to our material handling equipment operators and cargo handling teams, we ensure that all our staff are well-trained and clear on the different goods and requirements of our customers.”

Smith explains that the goods that are most conducive to cross-docking are those that are in steady demand, usually higher volume, fast-moving products scheduled in regular dispatches to pre-planned destinations. DACHSER also has the experience to handle large or complex items. “Of course, the preferred cargo to handle is stackable, palletised cargo that fits neatly into racks can be easily transported, but we’ve become experts in handling the odd and awkward cargo too.  Taking care of customers cargo and avoiding damages is our top priority, and our Durban handling team has the experience to load the trucks safely and correctly.  We also ensure that the appropriate handling equipment is available when off-loading a container and manoeuvring the cargo around the warehouse.”  

The DACHSER team handles both Pre-Distribution, where goods are unloaded and despatched according to set distribution instructions, and Post-Distribution processes, usually for retailers, which entails flexible picking and packing according to demand, based on in-store inventory, sales forecasts and trends.

Duve says it is also essential to partner with reputable transporters that offer a regular and reliable service to move the goods from warehouse to customer door.    


“With all the right foundations in place, cross-docking has become part of the seamless supply chain solution DACHSER South Africa offers to our customers, which further includes contract logistics, value-added warehousing, customs clearance and customs warehousing services,” says Duve.


A family-owned company headquartered in Kempten, Germany, DACHSER is a leading supplier of logistics services worldwide.

DACHSER offers comprehensive transport logistics, warehousing, and customer-specific services in two business fields: DACHSER Air & Sea Logistics and DACHSER Road Logistics. The latter consists of two business lines: DACHSER European Logistics and DACHSER Food Logistics. Comprehensive contract-logistics services and industry-specific solutions round out the company’s offerings. A seamless shipping network—both in Europe and overseas—and fully integrated IT systems ensure intelligent logistics solutions worldwide.

Thanks to some 30,995 employees at 393 locations all over the globe, DACHSER generated revenue of 5.66 billion euros in 2019. That same year, the logistics provider handled a total of 80.6 million shipments weighing 41. million metric tons. Country organizations represent DACHSER in 44 countries.

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DACHSER Corporate

Programming the future

Two women, two careers in IT, one shared goal: to constantly improve processes for Business Integration customers.

Machine learning – Support from the data cosmos

Digitalization makes work in logistics easier and more efficient. Goods and data streams flow together, creating quality and transparency across all process steps. DACHSER can apply machine learning to analyze and use data from day-to-day operations, opening up new horizons for intelligent logistics solutions that add value.

Sea Freight: Disruptions at Ningbo and Tianjin ports

Regarding the disruptions at Ningbo ports, we would like to give you an update. Recently, a Covid outbreak has occurred in Tianjin. Below we offer you an overview of the current situation.

DACHSER extends charter activities long-term

DACHSER Air & Sea Logistics is shoring up its charter program on the route between Hong Kong and Europe with a long-term contract. This ensures that the logistics provider will be in a position to offer its customers reliable air freight capacity from January 2022 out to March 2024.

Go to Dachser Corporate

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Dachser in Africa - the family business grows its global network

Growing logistics provider Dachser has more employees than at any other point in its history: some 30.603 people around the world are employed by the family-owned company based in Kempten, Germany. Dachser South Africa is home to 240 of these employees working across four branches, involved at any given time in connecting the flow of commodities, information, and transport companies with each other.

DACHSER South Africa celebrates 40 years as the gateway to Africa

DACHSER South Africa (SA) celebrates 40 years of being in business this November. When global logistics provider DACHSER acquired Jonen Freight, owned by the Duve family, in 2011, the newly minted DACHSER SA strengthened its global network, bringing over 30 years of established expertise in Africa to the company. Under the leadership of Managing Director Detlev Duve, DACHSER SA has further established itself as the gateway to Africa, dealing with diverse logistics needs across the various trade lanes and growing the team and the business in the face of a very challenging economic environment.

DACHSER South Africa recognised for leading in skills development

At the 29th Logistics Achiever Awards ceremony held on Thursday evening, 2 November at Montecasino in Fourways, Gauteng, DACHSER SA scooped a Silver category award for leading in skills development.

DACHSER Logistics – going green in the city

New emission-free logistics solutions are being pioneered by global logistics company DACHSER in cities across Europe. The pilot projects build on new electromobility concepts and adapts city logistics processes to tomorrow’s needs, offering bright prospects for emissions- and traffic-plagued city centers across the globe, including in Africa – where DACHSER is building a strong network from South Africa.

DACHSER wins the 2019 IMD Global Family Business Award

IMD recognized DACHSER for robust corporate and family governance structures combined with operational excellence and a focus on quality. IMD Business School, a top-ranked global business school headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, awarded DACHSER with the renowned IMD Global Family Business Award. On behalf of the company and the founding family, Bernhard Simon, CEO of DACHSER, and Birgit Kastner-Simon, Corporate Director Corporate Marketing, accepted the award at the 30th Summit of the Family Business Network International (FBN-I) in Udaipur, India.

DACHSER South Africa perfects the art of picking and packing

As a fundamental part of the supply chain, picking and packing is fast growing into a sophisticated, intelligent process. This is due to client demands that necessitate logistics companies in having detailed understanding of complex product specificities and requirements when storing and moving these goods across geographical distances.

Calling Education learners explore careers in logistics with DACHSER South Africa

Calling Education, based in Stellenbosch, is a non-profit private school that strives to make a truly excellent education available at a fee affordable to those from low-income communities.

DACHSER's transport network is prepared for dynamic changes

DACHSER says thank you - over the past few weeks, our customers have informed us in good time about their current transport requirements and included us in their planning. This has enabled us to quickly adjust our capacities to the actual demand. Due to the sharp decline in transport volumes in recent weeks, we have temporarily reduced transport capacities and installed special schedules.

The many measures taken to reduce new infections with the coronavirus have had a positive effect in many European countries in recent days. Initial easing measures, for example a partial reopening of retail outlets, are making everyday life easier for people. Since many industrial companies are also resuming production - albeit mostly at lower output levels - we expect transport volumes to remain volatile, but to increase again in principle.

With the active support of our customers, we are very well prepared for the coming period and will also be able to handle rising transport volumes again with the well-known DACHSER quality. It will continue to be very valuable for us in the future, too, that our customers continue to provide us with all the planning information that will enable us to adjust transport capacities and planning in line with demand.

We would like to thank you for your active cooperation during this very challenging period and look forward to continuing our successful collaboration, in which you can continue to rely on DACHSER.

Women leading in logistics - Fearless female: Marli Wilson

While the logistics field still tends to dominated by men, times are changing and the fairer sex is increasingly building successful careers in logistics. DACHSER South Africa is working hard to redress the gender inequalities in the industry. We’re chatting to fearless women who are playing vital roles in the DACHSER South Africa offices.

Operations Manager Marli Wilson believes that if you are passionate and consistent you can accomplish anything and overcome most challenges.

IMO 2020 regulations are making ships cleaner

New environmental guidelines from the International Maritime Organization for global shipping traffic will take effect in January 2020. Read on to find out what it’s all about.