Chart­ing the roadmap for suit­able op­por­tu­ni­ties

At the re­cently-con­cluded AS­SOCHAM Civil Avi­a­tion con­fer­ence, em­i­nent pan­el­lists enu­mer­ate the cru­cial is­sues of the air cargo in­dus­try and the so­lu­tions re­quired to chart the way for growth.

Cargo Talk - - Report - KAL­PANA LOHUMI

We as an in­dus­try need to move for­ward. If we look at what the in­dus­try needs to fo­cus on to­day there are three things: ease of do­ing busi­ness, in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment and skilling In­dia. If we take these three points, we can have quan­tum leap in spear­head­ing the cargo busi­ness.

We as a cargo in­dus­try are the last mile de­liv­er­ies of the ‘Make in In­dia ‘prom­ise. This project won’t work if we as an in­dus­try are not here. For ease of do­ing busi­ness, there is lot of talk in simplifying process and pro­ce­dures, get­ting dig­i­talised etc but what is lack­ing is a link be­tween all of this. One of the things re­quires fo­cus on is link­ing all these ini­tia­tives, be it dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion, in­te­gra­tion of our sys­tems, etc. Clear fo­cus has to be ini­ti­ated to look at this to­gether as one in­dus­try.

Keku Bomi Gazder

CEO AAICLAS

UDAAN is an op­por­tu­nity for us which will give con­nec­tiv­ity to air cargo also. Now, com­ing to the con­cern part; cus­toms depart­ment is re­quested to look at the mat­ter of trans­ship­ment of cargo. The ap­proval should be re­stricted to the Su­per­in­ten­dent level (if man­ual per­mis­sion re­quired) to make a trans­ship­ment process faster. This will re­duce the tran­sit time for 1012 hours wher­ever any man­ual per­mis­sion will be re­quired. Now com­ing to the con­cerns re­lated to Bureau of Civil Avi­a­tion Se­cu­rity; it is al­ready printed that any ship­ment which has to be up­lifted in an air­line has to be screened by a reg­u­lated agent process. This process needs to be relooked. At present, there is no time­line. All the poli­cies re­lated to BCAS need to be con­sid­ered again; the ac­count­abil­ity has to be there and there has to be some time­line for all the process.

More­over, if we are talk­ing of set­ting up an AFS; one of the cru­cial part will be screen­ing of cargo. Again, the reg­u­lated agent and BCAS has to come to the pic­ture. The AFS pol­icy doesn’t cover this part. Fa­cil­ity clear­ance is also one of the parts of BCAS. There should be strict time­line and a clear-cut check­list be­cause the ap­provals should not be de­pen­dent on the in­di­vid­u­als or as per of­fi­cial’s de­sires. That kind of trans­parency is re­quired.

Dinkar Singh Head - Reg­u­la­tory Af­fairs DHL Ex­press In­dia

Cargo plays an im­por­tant role in the econ­omy, it can­not be ig­nored. We are yet to see an air­line which can go in prof­its and beat the ex­penses by ig­nor­ing cargo. Belly space oc­cu­pies al­most 50 per cent of the space in the air­craft. Min­istry of Civil Avi­a­tion and Com­merce have come for­ward to lend an ear to the cargo trade’s prob­lems. The trade is suf­fer­ing from some pre­mium prob­lems like upgra­da­tion of sys­tems, cus­tom re­lated is­sues, im­ple­men­ta­tion of sin­gle win­dow sys­tems and EDI, cen­tralised reg­is­tra­tion of au­tho­rised dealer port and trans­fer cargo etc. We are yet to get a sturdy, ro­bust and de­pend­able sys­tems. There are times when sys­tems don’t work for four to five days and so much of losses hap­pen. We are the in­ter­me­di­ary be­tween the exim and we have com­mit­ments for cargo to fly in a flight which is al­to­gether not taken care of. In­fra­struc­ture is very Im­por­tant but along with it, we need sys­tems and pro­cesses in line. Ac­count­abil­ity has to be there; if any loss of time hap­pens and cargo is not able to be up­lifted be­cause of sys­tem fail­ure, then some­body has to be ac­count­able. And, most im­por­tantly, Air Freight Sta­tions (AFS) is the need if the hour to match up the growth of cargo.

Su­nil Arora Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Delta Air­freight

Cargo has al­ways been a step child of avi­a­tion. The amount of at­ten­tion cargo gets is very less and what goes be­low the deck, cross-sub­sidises what goes above the deck. We can pro­mote cargo with bet­ter in­fra­struc­ture, bet­ter poli­cies, scheme build­ing, etc. Not­ing the fact that cargo will only end up get­ting more rev­enue to the air­lines that helps to make the tick­ets cheaper. No doubt, Delhi and Mum­bai are choked for the next five years, till the next air­port comes in. 40-50 per cent of traf­fic comes to and from Delhi; there is a great op­por­tu­nity for the next five years with the state cap­i­tal and other sub-cen­tres of eco­nomic growth. There are also many great op­por­tu­ni­ties in North-East is­land ter­ri­to­ries for tak­ing goods there and bring­ing things back, con­nect­ing them to the rest of the coun­try and the world. The ever-mount­ing e-com­merce has shown us in­ter­est­ing in­dus­try trends in the past few months.

Am­ber Dubey Part­ner KPMG

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