DIAL Cargo kicks off Initiatives to make IGIA a transshipment hub
In view of the fact that top performing international airports in the world are heavily depending on transshipment cargo by acting as transit point, Delhi International Airport Limited’s cargo division (DIAL Cargo) has recently introduced a more than 10,000 sq ft transshipment area at the IGI Airport. They have also chalked out several pragmatic programmes to make IGI Airport a cargo hub in south Asia region.
In an exclusive interview with CargoTalk
Pradeep Panicker, chief commercial officer, DIAL and Sanjiv Edward, Head DIAL Cargo unveiled major initiatives that they have taken in the recent past (during 2012) to further strengthen the cargo traffic as well as cargo operation at this airport. Though currently the airport handles –approx 1800 tonne cargo a day, the existing cargo handling capacity at this airport is 1.5 million tonne a year. With enhanced and huge capacity (especially after completion of the modernisation of Brownfield cargo terminal and launch of Greenfield cargo terminal), ensuing ultramodern facilities like cargo village and adequate impetus on e-freight through its own Cargo Community System, the airport is on the verge of a great leap forward.
“Keeping this scenario in mind, we have already taken a number of innovative measures to extend the horizon. Introducing transshipment area at the airport, creating off airport facilities like Air Freight Stations, adding three more cargo stands for freighters and strengthening the IT front are the major initiatives in this direction,” said Panicker.
According to Edward, the AFSs will not only reduce the hassles at the airport, it would also generate more cargo by bridging the gap between actual shippers and carriers. It would encourage manufacturers and exporters at the hinterlands. According to DIAL study, the AFS would also reduce end-to-end (from AFS to aircraft) transit time drastically. “For instance, we have found that the end-toend transit time from the recently launched Kanpur AFS to an aircraft at Delhi Airport was only 18 hours instead of previous 72 hours,” he informed. There are plans to introduce five more AFSs in 2013.
Commenting on the DIAL’s involvement as regard to building those AFSs, panicker clarified that there was a MOU signed between GMR (the principal consortium of IGI Airport) and CONCOR. DIAL will extend all kind of supports to make the venture a success.
According to Edward, the AFSs will play a major role in due course of time in terms of reducing cost for shippers. Brushing aside the perception that AFS will add costs for shippers, Edward maintained that it would rather reduce the processing and transportation costs. “There will be value addition to each shipment in terms of processing and transportation by experienced and state-of-the-art services,” he added. In addition, there is separate lane for this special (customs bonded and well processed) shipments.
Panicker also underlined the importance of the proposed Cargo Village for a smooth cargo handling at the airport. The project will be operational by 2015. “Our initiatives on AFS and cargo village will tremendously help the terminal operators at this airport by bringing in more cargo and streamlining the traffic flow in the near future,” he emphasised. He also made it clear that airport terminals are not built for cargo storage. Also, no terminal operators are depending on demurrages, which are already showing a decline (about 30 per cent) yearon-year. In addition, as a custodian of the two terminals DIAL is also working with them regarding global best practices. “We are closely monitoring the terminal operators and evaluating their services time to time, so that shippers are benefited through world class services,” stated Edward.
“DIAL is very sincere about the development of cargo infrastructure at this airport. We have already decided to invest more than Rs 1200 crore for creating cargo infrastructure and there would be no dearth of further investment as and when required,” added Panicker. Meanwhile, about Rs 700 crore has been invested for the Brownfield and Greenfield cargo terminals and more than Rs 500 crore has been kept for the cargo village project.
(L-R): Pradeep Panicker and Sanjiv Edward at DIAL office in New Delhi