Air Cargo In­dus­try await­ing a push to com­pete global mar­ket

Though the econ­omy has taken a down­ward turn in ma­jor mar­kets like USA and EU, there is an op­por­tu­nity for In­dia be­cause of its ini­tia­tives for ex­plor­ing new mar­kets. The air cargo in­dus­try has to grab the op­por­tu­nity by of­fer­ing has­sle-free and cost-effe

Cargo Talk - - Contents - Ratan Kr Paul

Sharma em­phat­i­cally said that though there is a slow­down in ex­port from In­dia be­cause of the present eco­nomic sce­nario in the US and EU, the mar­ket sce­nario will grad­u­ally change to­wards pos­i­tive di­rec­tion. „We are quite con­fi­dent that In­dian in­dus­try will grow and over­come the chal­lenges very soon. Most of the es­tab­lished play­ers in the in­dus­try have al­ready started di­ver­si­fy­ing their mar­ket like Brazil, South Amer­ica, Latin Amer­ica, South Africa, Tur­key and Rus­sia which are fast de­vel­op­ing. We ex­pect a good vol­ume of busi­ness thanks to the econ­omy of these coun­tries. We have also ex­pe­ri­enced a pos­i­tive re­sponse from these coun­tries and our ex­port im­port has shown a good sign of im­prove­ment,‰ he main­tained.

Sharma is also ex­pect­ing good traf­fic from the Far East coun­tries like In­done­sia, Korea, ea, Hong Kong and China. „In­tro­duc­tion of Free Trade Agree­ment by the gov­ern­ment will fa­cil­i­tate and ben­e­fit our ex­porters/im­porters tremen­dously. Due to this, FTA our lo­gis­tics in­dus­try will def­i­nitely grow be­cause of the fact that ware­hous­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion will be re­quired in a big way,‰ he ex­plained.

MA­JOR IS­SUES

In Sharma's opin­ion, In­dian air­ports are lack­ing in pro­vid­ing in­fras­truc­tural fa­cil­i­ties like X-ray ma­chine, weigh­ing ma­chines, fork lifters, cranes, ad­e­quate space and park­ing fa­cil­i­ties for load­ing and un­load­ing of trucks, etc.

„With the growth of air cargo, we must im­prove the stan­dard of our air­ports by pro­vid­ing pre-req­ui­site fa­cil­i­ties near the air­port like ware­houses and Ship­per-built Unit Load De­vices con­cept to bring in ef­fi­ciency. In ad­di­tion, cargo dwell time must be re­duced,‰ Sharma viewed.

Sharma stressed that In­dian air­ports are be­com­ing ex­cep­tion­ally ex­pen­sive ow­ing to the high air­port charges. This is squeez­ing the busi­ness of air­lines. „Un­for­tu­nately, the Air­port Eco­nomic Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity (AERA) which is the author­ity to ap­prove such in­crease has done it with­out tak­ing con­sent from stake­hold­ers. Air­port op­er­a­tors like AAI and DIAL are in­di­rectly forc­ing air­lines to in­crease charges, which is re­sult­ing into higher trans­ac­tion cost of ex­porters and im­porters,‰ he said.

SIG­NIF­I­CANCE OF ACAAI CON­VEN­TION

Ac­cord­ing to Sharma, ACAAI Con­ven­tion brings all air cargo stake­hold­ers on one plat­form where they get op­por­tu­nity to dis­cuss on var­i­ous is­sues, which sub­se­quently helps them in im­prov­ing the growth of their ex­port and im­port of In­dia. „All chal­lenges and im­ped­i­ments halt­ing the growth are also dis­cussed with an aim to re­solve the same. Hence, such in­ter­ac­tions among the var­i­ous play­ers def­i­nitely bring progress to the in­dus­try as well as the coun­try's econ­omy,‰ he said.

Com­ment­ing on the im­por­tance of the 39th An­nual Con­ven­tion of the Air Cargo Agents As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia (ACAAI), which is tak­ing place from Novem­ber 22 - 25 in Is­tan­bul, Sharma main­tained that it would fa­cil­i­tate in­vest­ment and trade be­tween In­dia and Tur­key. „Tur­key is a very good tran­sit hub. The coun­try has two Euro­pean and six Asian coun­tries as neigh­bours along its land bor­ders,‰ he pointed out. Sharma high­lighted that Tur­key has grad­u­ally opened up its mar­ket through eco­nomic re­forms by re­duc­ing gov­ern­ment con­trol on for­eign trade and in­vest­ment and pri­vatis­ing pub­licly owned in­dus­tries.

SL Sharma WITH THE GROWTH OF AIR CARGO, WE MUST IM­PROVE THE STAN­DARD OF OUR AIR­PORTS BY PRO­VID­ING PRE-REQ­UI­SITE FA­CIL­I­TIES NEAR THE AIR­PORT LIKE WARE­HOUSES AND SHIP­PER-BUILT UNIT LOAD DE­VICES CON­CEPT TO BRING IN EF­FI­CIENCY

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