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
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.
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