Air Cargo India 2020 event, which is live in Mumbai, India till 27th February explored the subject of digital corridors and how it could be incorporated in India on its inaugural day.
While speaking in the inaugural ceremony Vandana Aggarwal, Economic Advisor to India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation, pointed at the disconnect between Indian and the global supply chain and said, “The gap can be narrowed through digital connectivity, and the government is making good progress towards its ambition to see air cargo volumes grow from 3.56m tonnes currently, to 6.5m by 2024 and 10m by 2027.”
Further, she mentioned about the MoU signed two years ago between Schiphol and Mumbai and urges airports to develop digital freight corridors to India.
She said, “I’d urge them and the IT teams to try to put it into operation this financial year, by 31 March, so we can use it as a test case and move forward.”
With her address, she also touched upon the Indian perishable sector and its transportation via air. Ms. Aggarwal appreciated the first freighter movement of shrimps from Chennai done by SpiceJet but also noted the failures, like cheese from Bihar and mandarins from Uttar Pradesh, that had failed to find sustainable ways to be moved by air cargo.
Ms. Aggarwal said, “We have to find out why products in high demand, from disadvantaged regions, did not work. Somewhere, logistics is failing,”
With the average size of a farm in India at just 0.3 hectares, “uplift and aggregation have always been a big challenge. But if it can be done in the highly perishable commodity of milk, it should be possible to replicate,” she adds.
Apart from this, Ms. Aggarwal also praised the industry about the considerable reduction of dwell time and motivated them to achieve the target.
“We have a huge consumer market, and the fifth-largest economy in the world, so air cargo should be laughing all the way to the banks. One success has been a considerable reduction in dwell times, from 61 hours for imports to 30 hours now, and from 53 hours on exports to 23 hours. It’s an improvement, but the target is 24 hours and 12 hours,” said Ms Aggarwal, adding that the ministry and government believed their targets are achievable.