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Air Cargo beyond Trade Barriers in Africa

Bianka Dettmer (), Andreas Freytag and Peter Draper ()
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Peter Draper: South African Institute of International Affairs, Postal: South African Institute of International Affairs, P.O. Box 31596, Braamfontein, 2017 Johannesburg, South Africa

Journal of Economic Integration, 2014, vol. 29, 95-138

Abstract: We develop a methodology based on two important criteria - sensitivity in delivery time and value-to-weight ratio – to classify air cargo products. The classification is applied to evaluate the trade integration in Southern Africa since air cargo is a valuable option to overcome trade barriers associated with poor land transport infrastructure and corruption. We find that South Africa’s exports to industrialized countries consist of precious products such as diamonds and gold. These products tend to be transported in the hand baggage of a security personnel as they leave the loading weight of an average airplane almost unaffected. When correcting African trade for these ‘invisible outliers’ in the loading freight, we find that African trade integration including Southern Africa is based upon a comparatively higher share of air cargo relevant products than Southern Africa’s trade with industrialized and emerging economies. A more liberal market for air cargo services can reduce transport costs and will allow the continent to integrate even further.

Keywords: Trade Cost; Time Sensitivity; Air Cargo Transport; Intra-African Trade Integration (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F10 F14 F15 L93 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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