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.
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.
Sunil Arora Convention Chairman ACAAI