Cargo operations at IGI Airport: How DIAL turns dreams into reality

One of the busiest airports in the world, the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport has two cargo terminals with a total capacity to handle 1.8 million metric tonnes (MT) of cargo per annum, which can be scaled up to 2.3 million MT per annum. The Airport, under a highly decorated operational leadership team, has been scaling new heights every year and has made its mark in the global air cargo community. With countries now approaching it as a transit hub for their West-bound cargo, the airport’s growth story continues to remain strong. In this interview, we spoke to Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, CEO, Delhi International Airport Limited about the cargo operations at IGI Airport in Delhi, their USPs, and factors contributing to a 100% growth in cargo volumes vis-a-vis pre-pandemic. Read on for more.

Q] Please tell us about the current volume and composition of cargo operations at the IGI and how it has changed over the past few years.

The two cargo terminals have the capacity to handle 1.8 million MT cargo per annum, which can be increased to 2.3 million MT per annum. In FY 2018-19, Delhi Airport handled 1 million MT cargo and achieved 100% recovery of cargo volumes by the end of FY21 as compared to the pre-Covid level. International cargo contributes approx. 65% and domestic cargo 35% at Delhi Airport.

During the last few years, there has been a significant increase in the imports of electronics & other IT equipment due to a multi-fold surge in e-commerce sales and an increase in digitisation processes and in exports. There has been a decrease in the export of meat & perishable shipments as well as readymade garments due to various reasons across the globe, mainly in the US and European markets. In domestic cargo, there is significant growth in the e-commerce segment. We have witnessed 8% growth in domestic cargo compared to last year.

Q] What measures has the airport taken to ensure efficient and timely movement of cargo, including customs clearance and ground handling?

DIAL has taken various measures to ensure the efficient and timely movement of cargo to enhance customer expectations. Some initiatives are as below:

  • Dwell time: Over the last two years, dwell time decreased by approximately 50% in exports, through regular process and gap analysis, done to identify the area where attention is required.
  • Policy Advocacy: DIAL carries out regular interaction with various internal and external regulatory bodies to enhance cargo clearance time. Also, knowledge-sharing sessions and regular meetings on current updates are held with regulatory bodies for immediate & efficient implementation of regulatory requirements on the ground to enhance overall customer experience.
  • Stakeholders’ involvement: We engage with all stakeholders on a regular basis to understand issues and take corrective measures. Teams are engaged in the process of benchmarking with other airports to adopt best practices.

Q] What is your opinion of the government’s work towards enhancing air cargo infrastructure and capacity towards the 10 million MT?

Logistics is the backbone of the economy, contributing 14.4 % of the country’s GDP and affecting all other industries including agriculture, manufacturing & services. Currently, there are approximately 21 international & 33 domestic cargo terminals in the country. As per a recent update, INR 92,000 crore will be invested in airport infrastructure. Out of this amount, approx. INR 62,000 crore will be spent by private operators and INR 30,000 crore by AAI.

This is the abridged version of Mr. Jaipuriar’s interview that was published in the June issue of Logistics Insider magazine. To read the complete interview, click here.

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