Re­vival of the air cargo must for growth

The new gov­ern­ment in­tends to give the de­sired at­ten­tion to the air cargo sec­tor, but cargo needs are still miss­ing from the draft. There is a cru­cial need to ad­dress chal­lenges to work to­gether to­wards de­vel­op­ing a world­class air cargo lo­gis­tics and expr

Cargo Talk - - REPORT -

The As­so­ci­ated Cham­bers of Com­merce & In­dus­try of In­dia (ASSOCHAM) had re­cently or­gan­ised a meet­ing to dis­cuss the ASSOCHAM’s white pa­per to be sub­mit­ted to the Min­istry of Civil Avi­a­tion (MoCA) and have a pre-bud­get dis­cus­sion. Re­cently, MoCA re­leased the draft civil avi­a­tion pol­icy with an aim to fo­cus on the up­lift­ment of the much ig­nored cargo sec­tor and the nec­es­sary reg­u­la­tions for the same. Ac­cord­ing to Pusap­ati Ashok

Ga­jap­ati Raju, Civil Avi­a­tion Min­is­ter, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia, “The draft pol­icy is a step to­ward mak­ing civil avi­a­tion, a vi­brant sec­tor in our coun­try, to rise to its full po­ten­tial.” How­ever, the in­dus­try is not sat­is­fied with the ini­tia­tives taken by the gov­ern­ment and the in­dus­try feels that the needs of cargo sec­tor are yet to be ad­dressed. “Air­lines make money out of cargo not of pas­sen­gers,” says Su­nil Arora, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Delta Air Freight adding, “Cost is in­creas­ing and ef­fi­ciency should be con­sid­ered.”

The need to cre­ate mul­ti­ple air­ports in var­i­ous ci­ties, need of skilled man­power and var­i­ous cargo needs were dis­cussed at the meet­ings. CAPA put for­ward the need for for­eign tal­ent in Air­ports Au­thor­ity of In­dia (AAI) and Air Traf­fic Con­trol (ATC) and more qual­ity in­sti­tutes. “We are fo­cus­ing to­wards be­ing pa­per­less, but what about air­ports. We need a stronger AERA to cover cost,” says Arora.

The draft gives strong recog­ni­tion of the fact that avail­abil­ity of in­fra­struc­ture at com­pet­i­tive rates pro­motes trade and im­proves global com­pet­i­tive­ness of the coun­try and is also a key de­ter­mi­nant of for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment (FDI) in­flows. The Ex­press in­dus­try would like to draw spe­cial at­ten­tion to the fact that such in­fra­struc­ture should be made avail­able at com­pet­i­tive rates. Given that many con­ces­sion­aire air cargo and re­lated fa­cil­i­ties are ef­fec­tive mo­nop­o­lies, it is im­por­tant that lo­gis­tics providers are not made to pay over and above le­git­i­mate rates for th­ese fa­cil­i­ties that are in line with global best prac­tices on such pric­ing.

The Ex­press In­dus­try per­spec­tive:

Need for ded­i­cated fa­cil­i­ties for Air Ex­press Op­er­a­tions with air side and city side ac­cess and mul­ti­ple freighter park­ing bays. Specif­i­cally, two types of in­fra­struc­ture are re­quired at all ma­jor air­ports (a) Ded­i­cated fa­cil­i­ties for ex­press com­pa­nies with large ded­i­cated op­er­a­tions and (b) Common user ter­mi­nals for smaller op­er­a­tors;

The de­vel­op­ment and de­sign of any ware­house in­clud­ing air­port cargo ter­mi­nal is mainly de­pen­dent on the business model and pro­cesses to be adopted which in turn are de­pen­dent on na­ture of op­er­a­tions. Thus, de­vel­op­ment of ware­houses that meet the spe­cific needs of ex­press op­er­a­tors are crit­i­cal;

Quick im­ple­men­ta­tion of Ex­press EDI;

Lack of 24/7 fa­cil­i­ties in­clud­ing cus­toms clear­ance is an im­ped­i­ment to the need for the very quick pro­cess­ing of ex­port and im­port cargo that is re­quired by Ex­press op­er­a­tors;

Cus­toms reg­u­la­tions in In­dia do not have proper and trans­par­ent reg­u­la­tions on re­turns. There are no clear guide­lines for RTO (re­turn to ori­gin) that are re­quired for cases when mer­chan­dise ar­rives in the coun­try by mis­take or ac­ci­den­tal cir­cum­stances. Cus­toms needs to ex­pe­dite the de­vel­op­ment of for­mal rules gov­ern­ing RTO that is both trans­par­ent and sim­ple;

Re-ori­en­ta­tion of plans of air­port in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment in a man­ner that bal­ances pri­or­i­ties for pas­sen­ger traf­fic with cargo. Air­port de­vel­op­ment to have a com­pre­hen­sive ap­proach that in­te­grates spe­cial fa­cil­i­ties for ex­press freight, frozen foods, air­mail, hazardous goods, and in­cludes spe­cialised equip­ments, con­nect­ing roads, truck park­ing ter­mi­nal and pub­lic ameni­ties.

The draft gives strong recog­ni­tion to the fact that avail­abil­ity of in­fra­struc­ture at com­pet­i­tive rates pro­motes trade and im­proves global com­pet­i­tive­ness of the coun­try and is also a key de­ter­mi­nant of for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment (FDI) in­flows

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