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
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