DACAAI Convention: Domestic Air cargo agents find ways to arrest the decline
The Domestic Air Cargo Agents Association of India (DACAAI), which held its 4th Trade Convention on August 9 in Delhi, discussed many ways how to counter the successive decline of domestic air cargo movement in the country. Industry veteran and Chairman,
during last couple of years, the domestic air cargo agents have been under tremendous pressure because of reduced volume of cargo and drop in yields. There has been a sharp shift of customer profiles, changes in mode of operation and emergence of new segments and areas (ie T-II and T-III cities). In addition, lack of infrastructure for domestic air cargo operations, security hassles and overall apathy from facilitators, compelled trade practitioners to have another look at their products, services and their capability to satisfy emerging customers.
“Yes, the domestic air cargo industry is running through rough weather. It should also be remembered that the prevailing scenario is the reflection of the present world and Indian economy, as well as the changing requirements of customers. The situation is demanding as well as challenging,” said Jani.
He however, underline the fact that this cycle will see an end very soon, and there will be substantial consumption (and hence cargo movement) in due course of time. And, this time there will be huge growth from Tier-II and Tier-III cities. “Air cargo will be the major beneficiary. It is seen in the world’s developed countries like USA, that despite a very strong surface network in this country, air cargo plays a very important role with almost 100 per cent load factor, as compared to little more than 60 per cent load factor in India,” he pointed out.
According to him, the problem lies in the lack of basic, suitable infrastructure, and services offered by industry stakeholders. In addition, there is a dire need of exploring new revenue-generating ideas. “The domestic cargo agents have to change their way of business, and add new products and services to grow in the years to come. The entire distribution network will see a sea-change because of new developments taking place (viz multimodal transport system, GST and DFC). Go from airport-to-airport to end-to-end solutions,” Jani suggested. Also, he emphasised on skilled manpower development to cater to the future logistics demand. At present, the logistics industry needs half a million skilled manpower units across the country.
Later speaking to Cargotalk, Gaurav Ghuwalewala, President, DACAAI informed that the Convention was focussed on searching for new avenues and skill development. “We had a very fruitful interaction at this convention, combining all stake-holders of the domestic air cargo industry from across the country. We will continue the process through the year by organising seminars, workshops and training sessions to benefit our members and the industry as a whole,” he said.
The Convention was also addressed by Deepak Brara, Director Commercial, Air India; Amit Gulati, DACAAI; Vijay Kumar, COO, EICI; Tamil Rajan, Logistics Consultant, Firstcry.com; Hemanth DP, COO, Airport Sector, GMR HIAL; Amit Bajaj, GS, DACAAI; Hareendranathan, ED Cargo, AAI; Radharamanan Panicker, CEO, CSC India; K Rammohan, Senior GM, Jet Airways; K Ravindran, Head Safety and Security, HMACPL; Govindarajan Bashyam, Suraj Agarwal, VP, DACAAI and several other industry practitioners.