Air fra­ter­nity comes to­gether

ACAAI Con­ven­tion saw lead­ers of the cargo in­dus­try along with their Chi­nese coun­ter­parts ex­press their views, con­cerns and op­ti­mism re­gard­ing the air cargo sec­tor that is re­ceiv­ing all the at­ten­tion it needs from the new gov­ern­ment.

Cargo Talk - - Front Page -

The need to stay con­nected with the out­side world was felt long ago by the In­dian air cargo sec­tor. Con­sid­er­ing the global na­ture of the air cargo sec­tor and the rapid eco­nomic de­vel­op­ments that have come into light after the reins be­ing passed on to the new gov­ern­ment, there was a need felt to choose a business hub for the an­nual meet of the ACAAI Con­ven­tion.

The venue for the 41st An­nual Con­ven­tion of ACAAI was, thus, de­cided as Shang­hai where the meet was held from Novem­ber 12 to Novem­ber 15, 2014 fo­cus­ing on the breathtaking pace of changes tak­ing place in the air cargo sec­tor, the re­cent poli­cies in­duced by the gov­ern­ment to ease the work­ing of this sec­tor, the en­cour­age­ment be­ing given to man­u­fac­tur­ing hubs, air freight sta­tions and ware­houses and the EXIM poli­cies that are be­ing re­con­sid­ered to al­low for smooth tran­sit be­tween coun­tries.

Spread over two days, six business ses­sions were held on

The 'Make in In­dia' drive will def­i­nitely be a big boost to in­dia's man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor, which in turn, will be a boon to the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try

Novem­ber 13, 2014 and Novem­ber 14, 2014 fo­cus­ing on de­ci­sions af­fect­ing the di­rec­tion the air cargo sec­tor is tak­ing, a quick look at the eco­nomic growth, the prob­lems pos­ing as hin­drances to the pace of growth of this sec­tor, the global fac­tors that in­flu­ence the air cargo sec­tor, look­ing at a new par­a­digm for the air­freight in­dus­try, moves to rec­on­cile the con­tra­dic­tory ob­jec­tives of the dif­fer­ent stake­hold­ers, dis­cussing steps that would ben­e­fit cargo in­fra­struc­ture along with a de­tailed fo­cus on steps to en­hance pros­per­ity of the sec­tor as a whole.

The Con­ven­tion com­menced with the in­au­gu­ral speech of its Chair­man, Su­nil Arora, and saw many em­i­nent and dis­tin­guished per­son­al­i­ties, which in­cluded Naveen Sri­vas­tava, the Con­sul Gen­eral of In­dia, Shang­hai as the Chief Guest, Li Lin­hai, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Freight For­warders As­so­ci­a­tion as the spe­cial guest, Thomas Sim, Chair­man, FI­ATA-ABVT as the key­note speaker and IP Rao, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, GMR Delhi as the Guest of Hon­our.

The Con­ven­tion that was in­au­gu­rated by Su­nil Arora, Chair­man, ACAAI Con­ven­tion was set into

mo­tion by SL Sharma, Pres­i­dent, ACAAI wherein he laid em­pha­sis on the ‘Sin­gle Win­dow Con­cept’ that is now pro­posed to be in­tro­duced in many sec­tors, which in turn would help in re­duc­ing trans­ac­tion costs and avoid de­lay in the clear­ance of the goods. The gov­ern­ment’s ‘Make in In­dia’ drive that has gar­nered at­ten­tion and pos­i­tive re­sponse from the en­tire coun­try was also talked about. Sharma stressed on the need for a sep­a­rate Min­istry for Lo­gis­tics and In­fra­struc­ture, one of the key ini­tia­tives of the air cargo as­so­ci­a­tion. The need for the coun­try to have a sep­a­rate trans­ship­ment hub was a point raised by Sharma for the gov­ern­ment to think and act upon.

Dis­cus­sions on var­i­ous top­ics were pre­sented by em­i­nent speak­ers from both the air­line and air­freight in­dus­tries. Ses­sion I wit­nessed dis­cus­sions re­gard­ing ‘In­no­va­tion in lo­gis­tics now – To meet mar­ket ex­pec­ta­tions’, ‘In­dian air cargo over­tak­ing global trend’ and ‘ECom­merce con­nect­ing the dis­con­nect’. The ses­sion was chaired by Ravi Prakash Mathur, Se­nior Di­rec­tor – Sup­ply Chain Man­age­ment, Dr Reddy’s Lab­o­ra­to­ries, Shankar Iyer, Head of Cargo – South East Asia & Mid­dle East, Swiss World Cargo and David Yokeum, Pres­i­dent, World Cargo Al­liance.

Ses­sion II started by fo­cus­ing on the air freight in­dus­try with San­jiv Kumar, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor-Cargo, Air In­dia speak­ing about the var­i­ous fac­tors and trends which in­flu­ence the eco­nomics of the air cargo business for air­lines, Keku Gazder, Re­gional Di­rec­tor, Saudi Ara­bian Air­lines talk­ing in de­tail about growth rates in var­i­ous re­gions of the world, emerg­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for the air freight in­dus­try in var­i­ous sec­tors, con­vert­ing chal­lenges of the in­dus­try into op­por­tu­ni­ties and the role and ap­pli­ca­bil­ity of elec­tronic tech­nol­ogy in the in­dus­try. Prahlad Tan­war, Di­rec­tor-Trans­port and Lo­gis­tics, KPMG made his mark with a highly in­for­ma­tive pre­sen­ta­tion con­cern­ing change in the sully chain mod­els, re­verse glob­al­i­sa­tion, in­dus­try con­sol­i­da­tion and tech­nol­ogy en­hance­ments. The ses­sion was con­cluded with the views of Yash­pal Sharma, Di­rec­tor, Sky­ways Group on the im­pact of the freight in­dus­try glob­ally in terms of mon­e­tary value, em­ploy­ment po­ten­tial and cre­at­ing link­ages be­tween the man­u­fac­turer and ul­ti­mate con­sumer.

Veli Po­lat, Re­gional Di­rec­tor – South Asia & Mid­dle East, Lufthansa Cargo com­menced Ses­sion III and spoke about mea­sures that are nec­es­sary to en­able the In­dian civil avi­a­tion to progress to the next level. Huned Gandhi, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Dachser In­dia con­tin­ued the ses­sion by high­light­ing the key in­di­ca­tors of the growth of air cargo from 2012 to 2014 and the fu­ture prog­no­sis of the in­dus­try for the next 20 years. Stanis­las Brun, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor-Mid­dle East, Gulf & In­dian Sub­con­ti­nent, Air France / KLM / Marti­nair Cargo spoke about the im­por­tance of im­ple­ment­ing changes in op­er­a­tional as­pects to meet changes and in­creas­ing cus­tomer ex­pec­ta­tions, while Pukhraj Singh Chug, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, As­cent Air chose to talk about the huge global and do­mes­tic po­ten­tial and op­por­tu­nity for the In­dian air­freight in­dus­try.

In­flu­enced by the call for ‘Make in In­dia’ cam­paign by the new gov­ern­ment which stresses on In­dia’s man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor, which in turn would have a pos­i­tive im­pact on the lo­gis­tics sec­tor, Ses­sion IV saw Ramesh Mami­dala, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Celebi mak­ing a call for the de­vel­op­ment of a fu­ture ori­ented cargo ter­mi­nal and fu­ture cargo hubs along with their business re­quire­ments. The ses­sion was fur­ther taken for­ward by Manoj Singh, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent Cargo, Mumbai In­ter­na­tional Air­port about the cur­rent and fu­ture plans for in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment at Mumbai air­port. The need for an

in­te­grated ap­proach to in­fra­struc­ture at cargo hubs was put for­ward by P Ma­hen­thi­ran, Vice Pres­i­dent, AISATS – Ben­galuru. Samir Mankad, Di­rec­tor, Gu­jarat Ex­port Cor­po­ra­tion spoke about the fu­ture role, re­spon­si­bil­ity and ef­fec­tive­ness of avi­a­tion se­cu­rity.

The au­di­ence at the Con­ven­tion got an op­por­tu­nity to know about the changes that the business en­vi­ron­ment has un­der­gone, the tax en­vi­ron­ment in In­dia, In­dian Cus­toms vs Global Cus­toms when Pramod Sant, Vice Pres­i­dent & Head of Im­port and Ex­port, Ex­port Con­trol Sys­tems, S.Asia Clus­ter, Siemens Ltd shared his knowl­edge re­gard­ing the same. PC Sharma, Pres­i­dent & CEO, TCI XPS ad­dressed the del­e­gates about the great op­por­tu­nity in do­mes­tic dis­tri­bu­tion and its role in sus­tain­ing prof­itabil­ity of or­gan­i­sa­tions. The role of tech­nol­ogy in the air cargo sec­tor as­sumed great im­por­tance when Amar More, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent, Kale Lo­gis­tics So­lu­tions touched upon key in­dus­try trends re­lated to tech­nol­ogy and its im­pact in the near fu­ture. Ra­jeev Bhat­na­gar, Chair­man, Amar­jy­oti pointed out the con­se­quences faced by the sec­tor be­cause of the com­part­men­tal­i­sa­tion of the air­line and freight for­ward­ing com­mu­ni­ties. The Con­ven­tion ended on a panel dis­cus­sion that in­cluded mem­bers from an air­line, a Gen­eral Sales Agent, Air­ports Au­thor­ity of In­dia, a cus­to­dian, a bonded trucker and a freight for­warder.

The pan­elists re­sponded to the is­sues raised by the del­e­gates and they made it a point to touch upon the fu­ture po­ten­tial of the air cargo sec­tor.

SL Sharma

Pres­i­dent, ACAAI

Su­nil Arora Con­ven­tion Chair­man ACAAI

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