Growth in In­dian air lo­gis­tics: Cathay Pa­cific

Cathay Pa­cific Cargo pos­i­tive about In­dian mar­ket

Cargo Talk - - Front Page - CT BU­REAU

Ashish Ka­pur, Re­gional Cargo Man­ager - South Asia, Mid­dle East and Africa, Cathay Pa­cific Air­ways speaks to CARGOTALK about what the air­line fore­sees for the air-lo­gis­tics sec­tor in In­dia, the global prospects, and the prob­lems to over­come. How buoy­ant is the In­dia mar­ket, ac­cord­ing to Cathay Pa­cific Cargo?

The In­dia mar­ket is very buoy­ant and is grow­ing. The im­ports and ex­ports for Cathay Pa­cific have been con­sis­tent. We see a pos­i­tive trend and are hope­ful that this con­tin­ues.

Post In­dia-Elec­tions, the coun­try is posted to show a growth of 4%? How much of that would ben­e­fit the air cargo in­dus­try?

The govern­ment has made a state­ment to en­sure growth in the manufacturing sec­tors. When the econ­omy grows, the con­sumers’ buy­ing power in­creases, thereby in­creas­ing the ship­ments for cargo such as elec­tron­ics and gar­ments. This fo­cus is wel­come as it in­creases the manufacturing ca­pac­ity which in turn will help the im­ports and ex­ports for the in­dus­try.

What are the ton­nage fig­ures that Cathay Pa­cific Cargo has posted in 2012-2013? Any ex­cep­tional cargo trans­ported?

In 2013, Cathay Pa­cific Cargo ex­ported ap­prox­i­mately 56,000 tonnes from In­dia. We had many in­ter­est­ing ship­ments; some of the ship­ments were cars, he­li­copters, he­li­copter parts, live an­i­mals, in­dus­try goods and ma­chin­ery that were car­ried on the main deck of the Boe­ing 747 freighters.

As a cargo air­line, what are the dif­fi­cul­ties /op­por­tu­ni­ties that you have faced in In­dia?

In­fra­struc­ture plays a very im­por­tant part in the sup­ply chain, which un­for­tu­nately has been the big­gest chal­lenge for our in­dus­try in this part of the world. The air­ports in Mum­bai and Chen­nai still have huge oper­a­tional chal­lenges.

Apart from the ter­mi­nals, In­dia also needs to move to global prac­tices like off-air­port bonded fa­cil­i­ties, im­prove­ments at the ex­ist­ing ter­mi­nals to han­dle built up units, etc. An­other area where we are lack­ing be­hind is e-freight. I can see some work hap­pen­ing by some air­port op­er­a­tors, but a joint effort in­clud­ing the govern­ment, reg­u­la­tory au­thor­i­ties, air­lines and air­port op­er­a­tors is re­quired.

What trends have the air­line dis­cerned lately with freight for­warders and other clients?

We see growth in the pharma in­dus­try which will be driv­ing the growth in the coun­try this year. Over­all, with North Amer­ica re­cov­er­ing from re­ces­sion with ris­ing con­sumer con­fi­dence and Europe also show­ing pos­i­tive signs, we should see good de­mand and growth this year. The gar­ment in­dus­try is the sur­prise pack­age as the de­mand fore­cast from ship­pers and for­warders is show­ing en­cour­ag­ing signs.

What dif­fer­ences have you seen with the new/up­graded air­ports, cold stor­ages that have come up in In­dia?

There are pos­i­tive trends with the up­grades and im­prove­ments hap­pen­ing with pri­va­ti­za­tion of air­ports in dif­fer­ent cities. Es­pe­cially the in­fra­struc­ture if the air­ports in Ben­galuru, Hy­der­abad and Delhi which have a mod­ern cargo ter­mi­nal have proved to be a great ad­van­tage with the fa­cil­i­ties they of­fer. In­fra­struc­ture plays a very im­por­tant part in the sup­ply chain in cargo which fa­cil­i­tates growth.

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