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.
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.
CEO, GMR Airports