The Air Cargo India Convention 2022, a 3 day conference plus exhibition from 31st May – 2nd June 2022, was held in Mumbai and was inaugurated by Mr. Ali Tolga Kaya (Consul General – Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey India in Turkey), Ms. Marja Einig (Acting Consul General of Germany), Mr. R. K. Patra (Group Editor in Chief, STAT Times), Mr. Bhupinder Singh, (CEO, Messe Muenchen India), and Dr. Robert Schönberger (Exhibition Director, Transport Logistic Exhibitions).
The event also saw Mr. Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Minister of Civil Aviation attending virtually and Mr. Piyush Srivastava, Senior Economic Advisor, Ministry of Civil Aviation visiting the Convention on behalf of MoCA. Wishing all participants a successful event, Mr. Scindia commended them on being a member of the air cargo sector, which has helped to strengthen and stabilize the civil aviation industry over the last two years.
The event presented an exemplary opportunity to various stakeholders of the global air cargo industry to interact with each other, offering new business opportunities, global perspectives and strong networking. The Convention was organised by the German company Messe München, one of the leading organizer of trade fairs in India with a vast portfolio of B2B events.
On the first day of the event, the Inaugural Session was followed by the first panel discussion and then the Pharma Air Shipper Forum. The 1st panel discussion was themed ‘Air Cargo – The Big Uplift to Continue Post-Pandemic’ and featured some prominent names of the Air Cargo industry like Glynn Hughes, Dennis Lister, and Sanjiv Edward, among others.
The panel discussed how the air cargo demand has been impacted since the pandemic and what are the future prospects. A couple of key concerns of the industry right now – the lack of air cargo capacity and the current geopolitical conditions – were also a point of discussion in the session. The panelists jointly agreed that collaboration, agility, communication, people management and futuristic decision making were the most important things to focus on, in order to revive the air cargo industry to pre-Covid levels. The panel also deliberated on the sustainability aspect and future outlook of the air cargo operations.
The Pharma Shipper Forum revolved around the future of pharma supply chains and featured special presentations showing how the air cargo pharma supply chains are building new trade lanes and capabilities for individual medicines. It also gave the attendees an insight into the Certified in Entity and Intangible Valuations (CEIV 2.0) – a certification and (PharmaAero x IATA project) that ensures that all facilities, equipment, operations and staff in the certified organisations comply with the expected standards, regulations and guidelines. The shipper forum also featured a discussion specifically focused on the future role of Indian life science production markets and its impact on the air cargo capacity. Renowned names like Tushar Jani, Trevor Caswell, Miguel Rodriguez, Manoj Singh, and Rajasekhara Reddy, among others.
The 2nd panel discussion themed ‘Cross Border E-commerce and its impact on Air Cargo’, featured Ramesh Mamidala, Dennis Lister and others as speakers. Considering the dramatic transgression of consumer behavior after the pandemic hit and the resultant increase in cross border cargo transfer via air, was the key point of discussion during the session. The panelists discussed how e-commerce is creating new opportunities for the global air cargo industry, how the industry is responding to the rapidly changing market offered by e-commerce and air cargo as a means to ends for sub-segments like quick commerce.
The 3rd panel was themed ‘How Digital Innovations Increase Air Cargo Revenue’ and the featured panelists included Darryl Judd, Saurabh Kumar and Osmannuri Ustabas along with others. The speakers discussed how the pandemic was like many years of technological improvements and digitization accumulated into just a couple of years. It was also agreed upon that there is a need for strategic, future looking digital planning and step by step roll out of tech reforms in the industry. A few initiatives that transformed the air cargo industry in respect to technological developments were e-booking platforms, chatbots, predictive data and data analysis, e-documentation, enhanced visibility and the eventual creation of a single global air cargo network.
The Air Shipper Forum shed light on the biggest challenges of the air cargo industry and the possible solutions to them. Speakers of the panel shared anecdotes to illustrate what went right and what went wrong in air cargo logistics with special focus on the ppost pandemic period. New aviation trends were also discussed by the panel. Ruby Abidi, Huned Gandhi, Vickram Srivastava and Roland Weil, along with others were a part of this panel.
The 3 day exhibition was a networking hub for those attending the Convention. Stakeholders like air carriers, airports, technology service providers, freight forwarders and GSAs were present at the exhibition. To name a few, Turkish Cargo, Emirates SkyCargo, Air India Cargo, Adani Airport, Balmer Lawrie, Group Concorde, GMR Cargo, Delhivery, DSV, Kale Logistics, Tech Eagle, Va-Q-Tec, Frankfurt Airport, cargo.one and Qatar Airways Cargo occupied the exhibition booths.
Emirates SkyCargo’s VP Cargo Commercial Development Dennis Lister, Cargo Manager (India and Nepal) Abdulla Alkhallafi and VP SkyCargo Commercial (West Asia and Southeast Asia) Jassim Saif, together announced the addition of a new Boeing 777F freighter to its fleet and expected addition of another in June this year. They also announced that in the coming months Emirates SkyCargo will identify and invite a number of agri-tech farmers who practice sustainable farming and circular economy principles, to participate in Gulfood Convention 2023 – an event uniting the food and beverage communities from around the world to not only mobilise global food trade, but also shape a more resilient, future-forward industry – helping them to connect with potential business and growth opportunities.
On the other hand, India based drone delivery tech firm Skye Air’s CEO Ankit Kumar announced the launch of their new drone, Artemis, which offers a payload of 6kg, range of 100km and focuses on healthcare, e-commerce and quick commerce. He said that their drones are already functioning for food delivery companies in Delhi NCR. Artemis’ first flight will be from Uttarkashi to Dehradun and will then operate 4 flights each day. Using a drone on the route (65km aerial distance) will reduce travel time from 8-12 hours to 1 hour.
Kale Logistics Solutions (Kale), trusted IT partner to the global logistics industry, announced that it has signed an agreement with its one hundredth airport cargo station, GMR Cargo Hyderabad International Airport (GHIAL). Kale will be transforming air cargo processes at GHIAL with a unique air cargo solution that is a combination of its flagship Cargo Community System and Cargo Management System, GALAXY. The solution encompasses courier, international, and domestic cargo operations for the airport.
The Convention also hosted the STAT Times International Awards for Excellence in Air Cargo to celebrate the supporting pillars of the air cargo community in India and internationally. The Life Time Achievement Award was presented to Mrs Vandana Agarwal, Senior Economic Advisor, Ministry of Civil Aviation. Here are a few names from the winners’s list –
- Cargo ground handler of the year India – Cargo Service Center
- Emerging Cargo GSA of the year India – Zeal Global
- International Cargo GSA of the year India – Group Concorde
- Greenfield airport of the year India – Kempagowda International Airport
- Cargo airport of the year India – Mumbai International Airport
- Cargo Airline of the year India – Air India Cargo
- International freight forwarder of the year India – Skyways Air Services
- Fastest growing international cargo airline of the year – Turkish Cargo
- Cargo Drone of the year – Dronamics
- Innovative logistics solutions in air cargo of the year – cargo.one
- Air cargo sustainability leader of the year – Lufthansa Air Cargo
- Indian air cargo transport leader of Covid vaccine – IndiGo Cargo
- Air cargo woman leader – Dorothea Von Boxberg, Lufthansa Cargo & Latha Narayan, Etihad Cargo