In­dian Lo­gis­tics: Aim­ing high

With the aim to cre­ate Delhi air­port as an air cargo hub, the GMR Group has come up with sev­eral ini­tia­tives as a whole can ben­e­fit with. PS Nair, CEO, GMR Air­ports talks about de­vel­op­ment plans, sec­tor growth and his vi­sion for the in­dus­try.

Cargo Talk - - Interview - CT BUREAU

Con­grat­u­la­tions on get­ting elected Re­gional Mem­ber to the ACI World Gov­ern­ing Board (WGB). What are your ob­jec­tives and im­ple­men­ta­tion pa­ram­e­ters?

Thank you. Well, in line with the ob­jec­tives of ACI, I in­tend build­ing up long last­ing re­la­tion­ships with the mem­ber air­ports and con­trib­ute to the de­bates on de­vel­op­ment of in­ter­na­tional stan­dards and rec­om­mended prac­tices.

Ear­lier, in my ca­pac­ity as a Di­rec­tor on the Board of ACI Asia Pa­cific Re­gional Board, I had ini­ti­ated knowl­edge shar­ing ses­sions at Asia Pa­cific Re­gional level which I now in­tend tak­ing up to a global level.

What do you feel are the hur­dles fac­ing the In­dian air cargo in­dus­try?

Un­rea­son­ably long dwell time of im­port cargo, in­ef­fi­cient sup­ply chain, lack of a proper do­mes­tic air net­work, reg­u­la­tory is­sues, cum­ber­some clear­ance pro­ce­dures in­volv­ing a plethora of agen­cies, tran­ship­ment blues, in­fra­struc­ture de­fi­cien­cies es­pe­cially at in­land air­ports, etc. are some of the hur­dles be­ing faced by the In­dian air cargo in­dus­try.

The Gov­ern­ment has fi­nally given the green light for the pri­vati­sa­tion of six ma­jor air­ports. Since you have worked in both the gov­ern­ment and the pri­vate sec­tors, what is your take on this?

This path break­ing decision is in the right di­rec­tion. The PPP (Pub­lic-Pri­vate Part­ner­ship) model of op­er­a­tion has proved beyond doubt that both Gov­ern­ment and pri­vate en­ti­ties can col­lab­o­rate to pro­duce syn­ergy and ef­fec­tive­ness. How­ever, the ground rules should be un­am­bigu­ously laid down, such that it of­fers a rea­son­able re­turn on the in­vest­ments to be made by the en­trepreneurs.

How would this move help the cargo sec­tor in the short as well as the long-term?

In the short term, it can lead to some com­pe­ti­tion for mar­ket share but in the long run, as the econ­omy grows, it will au­gur well for col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach. This will also help de­velop ef­fi­cient and mod­ern cargo in­fra­struc­ture which will support in­creas­ing In­dian Air Cargo growth and econ­omy as a whole.

Any spe­cific ini­tia­tive to be taken for mod­erni­sa­tion of cargo op­er­a­tions at Delhi or Hy­der­abad air­port. Which is in the pipe­line?

Ex­pan­sion of Cargo Vil­lage in Hy­der­abad air­port by adding more tem­per­a­ture con­trolled/non con­trolled as well as bonded & non-bonded ware­houses are on the cards. Ex­pan­sion of pharma zone, full im­ple­men­ta­tion of e-Freight and build­ing and op­er­a­tional­iza­tion of in­ter­na­tional ex­press ter­mi­nal and per­ish­ables ter­mi­nal are the other ac­tions on hand.

Growth of e-com­merce will be a key driver of do­mes­tic air cargo mar­ket and there will be growth on the in­ter­na­tional side, in long run. In­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment and pro­cesses im­prove­ment for air cargo would play an im­por­tant role in this growth tra­jec­tory

Com­ing to Delhi air­port, many ini­tia­tives to go pa­per­less has been im­ple­mented which in­cludes re­moval of hard copies of AWB, LEO mes­sag­ing, lo­ca­tion slip, etc.

IGIA has ini­ti­ated a Cargo Vil­lage for freight for­warders and 3rd party lo­gis­tics play­ers at the air­port and as part of phase-1; a fa­cil­ity of ap­prox. 9000 sq m is un­der de­vel­op­ment and ex­pected to be com­pleted by De­cem­ber 2014.

How do you see 2014 shap­ing up for In­dian air cargo mar­ket?

In­dian Air Cargo in­dus­try has been in a re­vival state and is de­pen­dent on US and Europe economies. We will also see growth from de­vel­op­ing economies like China and Africa.

Growth of e-com­merce will be a key driver of do­mes­tic air cargo mar­ket and there will be growth on the in­ter­na­tional side, in long run. In­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment and pro­cesses im­prove­ment for air cargo would play an im­por­tant role in this growth tra­jec­tory.

In­ter­na­tional Air­lines are ei­ther in­tro­duc­ing new freighters with higher ca­pac­ity or up­grad­ing pas­sen­ger air­crafts with higher belly hold cargo ca­pac­ity across the gate­way air­ports.

What are GMR group pri­or­i­ties for the up­com­ing year?

The pri­or­i­ties are to cre­ate Delhi as the air cargo hub by im­ple­ment­ing – Cargo Vil­lage, e-freight, pa­per­less trans­ac­tions, cargo com­mu­nity sys­tem, Air Freight Sta­tions/Road feeder ser­vice, im­port bonded truck­ing, fo­cus on business de­vel­op­ment and tran­ship­ment cargo growth.

PS Nair

CEO, GMR Air­ports

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