AIR CARGO INDIA 2016 addresses key issues of the industry

AIR CARGO INDIA 2016 addresses key issues of the industry

Posted By: STAT Trade Times - March 04, 2016


The three-day event of AIR CARGO INDIA 2016, the 6th edition of the International Biennial Air Cargo event being organised by STAT Trade Times got to a good start with Dr Renu Singh Parmar, Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India lighting the lamp and officially inaugurating the event. Prominent leaders of the air freight industry from across the globe were present on the occasion. The event attracted more delegates and visitors than its previous edition in 2014. There were 434 delegates and 3450 trade visitors. 70 leading companies exhibited their products and services at the three-day event held in Grand Hyatt in Mumbai from February 23 to 25. Dr Parmar also delivered the keynote address marking the starting of the three day conference. Earlier, R K Patra, Group Editor-in-Chief of STAT Media Group, to which STAT Trade Times belongs, took Dr Parmar round the expo centre to view the exhibition. In his welcome speech, Mr. Patra pointed out the fact that the event was taking place in the backdrop of the MAKE IN INDIA initiative of the Government of India aimed at boosting the manufacturing activities and thereby promoting the export industry. The main theme of the event was MAKE IN INDIA-AIR CARGO MAKES IT HAPPEN. Dr. Parmar sounded optimistic that in spite of the decline in exports witnessed in the preceding year, the trade would pick up sooner than later. She also dwelt on the importance of air freight industry to the success of the MAKE IN INDIA initiative. The session that followed soon after witnessed an objective and no holds barred discussion on how the air freight industry will play an integral role in making the MAKE IN INDIA initiative a success. Glyn Hughes, Global Head of Cargo, IATA moderated the session. He kicked off the discussion addressing the question to the panellists if the air freight industry in India is ready to provide the right links to the global market. Nurturing skilled labour, creating an environment conducive to business by relaxing regulations, adopting technology for ease of doing business were some of the main issues discussed. In the afternoon on the inaugural day Brussels Airport hosted the PHARMA AIR SHIPPERS FORUM which saw huge turnout from India’s pharmaceutical manufacturing sector. This was the second PHARMA AIR SHIPPERS’ Forum taking place under the auspices of the event, and the response was overwhelming to say the least. The objective was to give a platform for the shippers of pharma products to meet with other links in the supply chain and address the challenges faced by them. The second days’ discussion concentrated on the potentials and pitfalls in India’s ambition to be global force in the air freight industry. Hemanth D.P. Chief Operating Officer, Aero Commercial, Cargo and Asia Pacific Flying school, GMR Airports moderated the session. There was this opinion that freight forwarders would have to brace themselves up in the light of the flourishing e-Commerce. IT and logistics companies will play a yeoman role in changing the face of the industry in the coming years was the thread of discussion in the session. This industry will completely change in the coming years, forwarders by their own admission will hit a brick wall soon in their ability to compete against the likes of Amazon, Alibaba, Google and the other large IT and logistics companies that will market their services beyond their own needs. An exclusive Air Shippers Forum hosted by Frankfurt Airport with the support of Federation of Indian Exports Organisation (FIEO) took place in the afternoon of the second day. Such was the response to the forum the organizers had to work extra hard to manage the entry of delegates and make special arrangements to accommodate everyone. The theme was ‘Forum for facilitating the Indian exporters and importers.