Air Cargo: Low achievement
A much higher growth rate can be achieved if a concerted effort is made to unlock the true potential of air cargo through improved infrastructure, higher operational efficiencies and simplified procedures and regulations.
Air cargo, though just around 1-2 per cent of the global cargo movement, contributes to around 32-35 per cent by value of cargo shipped. It is critical for industries such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, marine exports, floriculture where shipments are time-sensitive. The Indian air cargo industry is a classic case of high potential but low achievement, despite the advantages of economic growth, demographics and gepgraphical location.
Indian government adopted ‘Open Sky’ policy for the air cargo sector in early 1990s, under which Indian or foreign carriers were allowed to operate scheduled and non-scheduled cargo services to and from any airport in India. Since the adoption of open skies policy, it has seen a growth in international air cargo traffic. But in FY 2014-15, India handled a total cargo throughput of 2.52 MMTPA. This pales in comparison with airports like Hong Kong, Memphis, Shanghai and Incheon which alone handle more throughput than all Indian airports combined. The domestic air cargo sector grew 18 per cent on the back of the e-commerce boom. This year, the cargo traffic during Apr 15 - Jan 16 has grown by 6.1 per cent, with domestic cargo growth falling to just 5.4 per cent.