Growth in Indian air logistics: Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific Cargo positive about Indian market
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.