Need bonded warehouses for agents for smooth cargo flow
Cargo handling procedures at Indian airports have come a long way. There has been a huge improvement in the way the handling takes place, especially at the five major cities in India viz Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru, observed Erdal Kose
The air cargo industry is witnessing better cargo handling mechanism especially in the IGI airport, Delhi owing to the two warehouse operators— Celebi and DCSC, who are striving to give an enhanced-quality service. Significantly, Delhi is now the only airport in India which is an e-freight certified airport. Other two airports, which are in the process of finishing, are Bengaluru and Hyderabad. According to Kose, customs have also taken an initiative towards the smooth flow of works at these airports, wherein shipments which have an invoice value of less then
` 1 million, or where the drawback amount is less than ` 1 lakh, or those shipments which are duty-free, and not examined or randomly examined 100 per cent.
On the flip side, Kose pointed out that the major challenge that still needs to be done away with is the infrastructure issue. In addition, the Customs procedures in other major Indian airports still takes more time than what it takes at the major airports across the world. The main reason behind that is the lack of big X- ray machines that can X- ray the complete pallet or the odd size cargo. Apart from that, customs are not ready for the BUP concept. On the other hand, the warehouse works more as a storage facility rather than a transiting point, whereas, warehouses at major airports are thriving to be a transiting point rather than providing storage facility.
Commenting on the procedural hassles at Delhi airport for example, Kose also pointed out that as Delhi is primarily a garments market, each shipment has around average 200-300 pcs, which are first offloaded from the truck at the warehouse gate to complete the necessary processes— counting, weighing and taking the dimensions of all pieces before putting them in bonded area after the customs examination and locating them. All this process takes approximately four-five hours which is considerably more than what it takes at the major airports across the world. “If these shipments come loaded on a pallet or container as BUP from agents to the warehouse it will reduce considerable time in handling at the airport,” he underlined. Accordingly, the warehouse operator will have to handle just one ULD instead of handling a large number of loose
If the agencies hand over the shipments to the airport’s warehouse, after completing their necessary processes in the bonded warehouses, the workload of the airport’s common user’s warehouse can be lightened”
Erdal Kose Regional Cargo Manager, North & East India, Turkish Cargo
pieces. It will also reduce a lot of irregularity in terms of counting and pieces left behind in the loading process, etc. “The time saved in the handling/clearance of cargo can be passed onto the customer by extending the cargo acceptance time,” he added. Apart from this, the agents in India still don’t have the bonded warehouse which can also play a major role in facilitating smooth flow of cargo movement.
He firmly believes that if Customs can recognise the BUP concept and promote more of these ideas where less handling is involved at the airport there will definitely be an improvement in smooth flow of cargo handling. It will reduce the irregularities and clearance time considerably. “If the agencies hand over the shipments to the airport’s warehouse, after completing their necessary processes in their bonded warehouses, the workload of the airport’s common user’s warehouse can be lightened,” he stressed.