India aiming spot in top 5 global air freight markets by 2025

Prabhu unveils National Air Cargo Policy at Global Aviation Summit

Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Commerce and Civil Aviation, unveiled the much anticipated National Air Cargo Policy (NACP) at recently concluded Global Aviation Summit in Mumbai.  The policy aims to leverage the Indian air cargo network to provide cargo transportation by air to the masses at an affordable cost and laid out the framework of connecting each and every village to the national and global supply chain.

Ministry of Civil Aviation in its report titled ‘Vision 2040’ has stated that cargo movement is expected to quadruple and achieve the figure of 17 million tons by the year 2040. This growth figure can be achieved and sustained only by enhancing adequate freight carrying capacity of Indian air network by constructing new cargo terminals and expanding the capacity of the present ones, besides exploring the potential of tier II and tier III cities of the country.

Seamless flow of cargo, facilitation of indigenous export and import of goods and making India as a transshipment hub are some of the vital areas where the government has put the utmost thrust in the policy. The ministry through the policy is trying to bring process transparency along with decreasing shipment delays, costs and cargo dwell time at the airports. Promoting a fully automated paperless trade environment with minimum face to face interactions is also one of the key objectives of the policy.

“In the last few years, it’s witnessed that global trade has contracted whereas global economy has expanded comparatively. So now it’s a challenge as well as opportunity that when the global economy will rebound again the global trade will also increase. And, global trade will need a global policy for cargo as cargo will be one of the driving forces (sic)”

Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Civil Aviation said while launching the policy

The policy covers all three categories of air cargo transport: domestic cargo to ensure efficient flow of goods across India; international cargo facilitating all indigenous export and import of goods; and transit international cargo by making India the transit cargo hub of choice to and from other parts of the globe.

Post offices to be integrated with air cargo value chain

The policy document states integrating post offices to the air cargo value chain at the village post office level. The domestic and international air cargo network will dovetail with the Postal network through a common user platform to provide first and last mile connectivity for air cargo. Any air logistics’ company will be able to connect with the postal network based on a pre-defined connectivity interface. This will connect villages to both the urban domestic market and international markets providing free flow of goods through air cargo.  Regional and state cargo hubs will be developed which will act as gateways for the region and states, connected by domestic trade corridors to production hubs.

Leveraging India’s geographical location for transshipment

India’s geographical location to be leveraged for making India as a transit hub between Europe and South East Asia and a gateway to the South Asian region. Additionally, a process of performance monitoring and continual assessment of national and international best practices shall be instrumented to ensure constantly improving processes are applied. Internationally recognized benchmarking standards will be monitored to assess performance.

Cargo dwell time to be reduced 

Trade processes will be simplified to reduce the dwell time of cargo at airports. Cargo transport will be made seamless and simplified by progressively replacing paper interaction with digital transactions that ensure automatic, timely and reliable exchange of information across all stakeholders.

Expediting cargo clearance process

Shift towards fully facilitated “trust-based” clearance processes through state-of-the-art RMS with robust scanning and identification methodology. The physical inspections will be done only in those cases where the risk will get elevated. Cargo clearances, including those related to part shipments, will be significantly automated with human intervention required on an exceptional basis.

Making air logistics tech enabled

Encouraging the deployment of the latest technology to reduce cost and maximize efficiency and digitalization. Air cargo logistics would be made tech enabled by implementing Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Block Chain.

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