In an exclusive LinkedIn live interview with Logistics Insider, Satyaki Raghunath, Chief Strategy & Development Officer, Bangalore International Airport Ltd. (BIAL) highlighted the initiatives taken by the airport towards becoming a cargo hub and the impact of the second wave of the pandemic on the Air Cargo Industry. Here are the key highlights of the Interview.
Launch of the Dedicated Express Cargo Terminal
In March this year, BIAL had commissioned a 2000,000 square foot of facility which is set to house leading global carrier organisations like DHL Express, FedEx EICI, etc. This built-to-suit facility will add impetus to the ease of doing business and significantly reduce transaction time and cost to the shipper by providing a dedicated facility.
“Before we commissioned the facility, we had about 570,000 metric tons of cargo capacity at the airport. The new facility will add a dedicated space of about 150 thousand metric tons annually and that will take us to well over 70000 metric tons in terms of overall capacity at the Bangalore Airport,” shared Mr Raghunath.
“The idea is that over the next few years, we think that the B2B and B2C market have a huge potential and the dedicated facility will go a long way in terms of providing multiple service providers very good transaction times, transit times, and various value-added services within the terminal facility itself”, he added.
Key collaboration with Envirotainer
In another crucial step, BIAL joined hands with Envirotainer and became one of the four airports to tie up with them. The idea behind the collaboration is to provide advanced end-to-end temperature control solution and allow the movement of Pharma products all over the world without any major variation in temperature which is very critical.
“Bangalore is a major hub, as far as pharma and chemicals are concerned in India. The idea is to ensure that you provide the right resources for our partner to take advantage at the airport and work with our government to make sure we can move goods both in and out of the airport”, Satyaki added.
Furthermore, while talking about the key collaboration, he added that will go a long way in ensuring product integrity, quality and reliability through the entire journey. He expressed his hopes of bolstering the share and role played by pharmaceuticals in cargo, in the days to come.
“As of today, the pharmaceutical products account for almost 13% of International cargo from BIAL every year and we want to see what can be done to significantly enhance the number.”
COVID-19 Second-wave: Impact on Air Cargo
The second wave of the pandemic came at a time when businesses across the world were on the verge of overcoming the devastations of the first wave. The same holds true for the aviation sector.
“We thought we had gone over the worst of it in January and we’re starting to see a significant resurgence in terms of traffic volumes. And, then the second wave hit us with the ferocity that we did not even see in the first wave,” shared Satyaki, while expressing his views particularly on the passenger front.
However, when speaking of the cargo operations, he foresaw a positive outlook. The bygone year was worse from a cargo perspective, as compared to 2021. He said, “At least we roughly know what we did, what we do well, etc and the system is in place”.
Speaking on the impact of the second-wave on Air cargo, P2C conversions will most likely continue in the days to come, he shares.
One of the things that will continue to shape up is significant freighter capacity through India and certainly in Bangalore. “I think you will continue to see the P2C conversion and from a supply chain perspective, I don’t think you’ll see too much of an impact here because I think most supply chains today are resilient and have had the benefit of 12 months to get used to covid and trying to make sure that goods are moved”, he shares.
The airport has constantly been on its toes when it comes to utilising the best of innovation and has taken swift efforts towards meeting its goals.