ACAAI calls for strong co­or­di­na­tion be­tween in­dus­try and dif­fer­ent min­istries

The 40th An­nual Con­ven­tion of the Air Cargo Agents’ As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia (ACAAI), which was held from Oc­to­ber 24-27 in Jaipur with the theme of ‘Air Cargo in Avi­a­tion In­dus­try—A Vi­tal Link’, dis­cussed the crit­i­cal role of air­cargo in a com­plete and in­tegr

Cargo Talk - - Contents -

The global un­cer­tainty has driven all as­sump­tions and fore­casts of mar­ket­ing gu­rus up­side­down. In this world of un­cer­tainty, it is im­mi­nent that the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try per­forms to per­fec­tion.

The Con­ven­tion was in­au­gu­rated by

S. Machen­dranathan, Spe­cial Sec­re­tary/Ad­viser, Min­istry of Civil Avi­a­tion. At­tended by a large num­ber of ACAAI agents from across the coun­try, sev­eral em­i­nent speak­ers and air cargo and lo­gis­tics ex­perts were present on the oc­ca­sion to ad­dress the del­e­gates. Apart from Machen­dranathan, other speak­ers in­cluded Pawan Jain, Com­mis­sioner Cus­toms ( Pre­ven­tive), Jodhpur; Vikram

Joshi, Mem­ber, Board of Jaipur In­te­grated Tex­craft Park; PS Nair, CEO, GMR; Am­ber Dubey, Part­ner & Head-Avi­a­tion, KPMG;

Alok Shekhar, Sec­re­tary, AERA; Bart Pouwels, Di­rec­tor, Am­s­ter­dam Air­port Schiphol Cargo and sev­eral other in­dus­try prac­ti­tion­ers (both ser­vice providers and users). In his speech, SL Sharma, Pres­i­dent, ACAAI, urged for a ro­bust in­fra­struc­ture and a strong co­or­di­na­tion be­tween in­dus­try stake­hold­ers and dif­fer­ent min­istries through Air Cargo Lo­gis­tics Pro­mo­tion Board. He also em­pha­sised on recog­ni­tion of the air-cargo and lo­gis­tics sec­tor and quick adop­tion of evolv­ing mar­ket needs and chang­ing trends of the lo­gis­tics en­vi­ron­ment.

“The 21st cen­tury has been the most un­cer­tain pe­riod in the his­tory of busi­ness. The global un­cer­tainty has driven all as­sump­tions and fore­casts of mar­ket­ing gu­rus up­side-down. In this world of un­cer­tainty, it is im­mi­nent that the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try per­forms to per­fec­tion. The air-cargo seg­ment of the sup­ply chain has be­gun to play an even im­por­tant role for ef­fec­tive move­ment of goods,” he un­der­lined. He also main­tained that busi­nesses across the world are learn­ing how to be­come leaner and work more ef­fi­ciently. Also, the buyer is be­com­ing smarter and is mak­ing bet­ter use of ef­fec­tive air-freight so­lu­tions to buy closer to date of sale rather than stock­ing up. “In

this world of fierce com­pe­ti­tion, only ef­fi­ciency can make the dif­fer­ence,” he added. Sharma pointed out that never be­fore has the im­por­tance of the air cargo lo­gis­tics in­dus­try in In­dia been as cru­cial. In the rapidly-chang­ing pro­file and en­vi­ron­ment, the fullest par­tic­i­pa­tion, at­ten­tion and the most ef­fec­tive de­lib­er­a­tions of all play­ers in the in­dus­try is re­quired to es­tab­lish the vi­tal na­ture of the link in the en­tire global lo­gis­tics chain. “The fo­cus of ev­ery­one, the pol­icy-mak­ers, the im­ple­menters and the busi­ness com­mu­nity has to be on growth. This con­ven­tion seeks to recog­nise the boom­ing lo­gis­tics arena and to es­tab­lish how the air­cargo is a vi­tal link for eco­nomic pros­per­ity,” the ACAAI pres­i­dent stressed. He also urged that some of the ar­chaic reg­u­la­tions and pro­ce­dures need timely ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion and sim­pli­fi­ca­tion. He wel­comed the re­cent ini­tia­tives taken by the Min­istry of Civil Avi­a­tion, es­pe­cially by the for­ma­tion of Air Cargo Lo­gis­tics Pro­mo­tion Board. Sharma ap­pealed to the Min­istry to call a meet­ing for the in­dus­try at least once in a month as there are is­sues that need ur­gent at­ten­tion. Ad­dress­ing the gath­er­ing, Machen­dranathan said that it is partly true that MoCA was more in­ter­ested in fa­cil­i­tat­ing pas­sen­ger traf­fic. But for last two years, there have been a lot of de­vel­op­ments for air-cargo op­er­a­tions and fa­cil­i­ta­tion. The gov­ern­ment is se­ri­ous about an in­dus­try-friendly air-cargo pol­icy, and

For last two years, there have been a lot of de­vel­op­ments for air­cargo op­er­a­tions. The gov­ern­ment is se­ri­ous about an in­dus­try-friendly air-cargo pol­icy, and cre­ation of the ACPL is a re­flec­tion of that.

cre­ation of the ACPL is a re­flec­tion of that. He, how­ever em­pha­sised on the change in mind-set about air cargo and lo­gis­tics in­dus­try from all quar­ters. “In ad­di­tion, skill de­vel­op­ment, ca­pac­ity-build­ing, ease in pro­ce­dures es­pe­cially by cus­toms, de­con­ges­tion of air­port, cre­ation of of­fair­port fa­cil­i­ties like AFS, and in­te­gra­tion be­tween in­dus­try stake­hold­ers have to be the prime fo­cus,” said Machen­dranathan. Ear­lier, Jain as­serted that the CBEC has taken sev­eral ini­tia­tives for trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion. “Our goal should be how to re­duce trans­ac­tion cost to make ex­ports com­pet­i­tive. How­ever, there should an in­te­grated ap­proach from ev­ery one,” he said. Con­cerns on Cus­toms’ Pro­grammes The 40th An­nual Con­ven­tion of ACAAI wit­nessed se­ri­ous dis­cus­sions on gov­ern­ment poli­cies re­lated to Cus­toms clear­ance. Speak­ing at a busi­ness ses­sion,

Pawan Ku­mar Jain elab­o­rated on the re­cent ini­tia­tives taken by the Min­istry of Fi­nance per­tain­ing to Cus­toms clear­ance. In­ter­act­ing with Jain, sev­eral del­e­gates ex­pressed con­cerns over the anom­alies re­lated to self-as­sess­ment and Au­tho­rised Eco­nomic Op­er­a­tor schemes. Re­act­ing to the agents’ con­cerns, Jain em­pha­sised on col­lec­tive re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and proper train­ing. He also as­sured fur­ther dis­cus­sions be­tween the Cus­toms Depart­ment and in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives to re­solve the is­sues. High­light­ing the is­sues re­lated to Cus­toms

Samir J Shah, Part­ner, JBS Group main­tained that the Cus­toms Ver­sion 1.5 has to be iden­ti­cal at all 108 lo­ca­tions across the coun­try and all-in­clu­sive. “It un­for­tu­nately not reached the stage of ei­ther be­ing iden­ti­cal or in­clu­sive,” he said. Fo­cus on Tran­ship­ment Cargo Ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try prac­ti­tion­ers and ex­perts, a mix of hub-and-spoke mech­a­nism and tran­ship­ment cargo move­ment will be the key to the suc­cess of a hub air­port in In­dia. Speak­ing at a Busi­ness Ses­sion, Am­ber Dubey said that In­dia is as of now un­able to utilise the tran­ship­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties from sur­round­ing coun­tries. He also stressed that the in­dus­try should stop de­pend­ing on the gov­ern­ment and it should take some ini­tia­tives on its own. “The gov­ern­ment will act ac­cord­ing to its own course, agenda and com­pul­sions. The in­dus­try should bring ex­cel­lence in man­u­fac­tur­ing and cargo-han­dling. The ob­jec­tive should be re­duc­ing cost and dwell time,” added Dubey. Alok Shekhar em­pha­sised on the higher per­for­mance lev­els by the in­dus­try stake­hold­ers. “We will have to en­sure op­er­a­tional qual­ity even though there are so many agen­cies in­volved. AERA is al­ready mon­i­tor­ing the per­for­mance level through its Act, and in the days to come, it would be in­ten­si­fied for the greater in­ter­est of the in­dus­try and the coun­try,” he stated.

Sl Sharma, Pres­i­dent, aCaaI light­ing the in­au­gu­ral lamp along with other dig­ni­taries

aCaaI of­fice bear­ers and dig­ni­taries dur­ing the inau­gu­ra­tion of aCaaI Con­ven­tion 2013

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