Feb 26, 2016: “These are interesting times for those in forwarding,” said Percy Avari, regional manager, Aramex, South Asia said at a panel discussion on the theme: “e-Commerce – delivering the future” on the concluding day of Air Cargo India 2016 in Mumbai.
“We have previously focused on the satisfaction of a few thousand customers. It has turned around – it is no longer a few thousand, but millions of customers. It’s not so much about on-time delivery but the experience of customers. We now need to have a conversation with all of them,” Avari added.
Des Vertannes, air cargo executive and former head of IATA Cargo, said, “Everyone has a traditional cost base, so the question is how the traditional operators change their modus operandi. There will be a lot more traffic for a lot less money.”
Kaiya Arora, Assistant Post Master General (Business Development), Maharashtra Circle, India Post, said, “We have to work out end processes if we want to handle increasing e-Commerce traffic. Right from the booking, processing and delivery and also need to address the IT gaps. To cater to the growing e-Commerce business we need to set up parcel centers where bulk booking or the corporate customers can directly bring in their shipments. Therefore upgrading infrastructure is really necessary.”
She added, “Traffic fluctuates. It can be 5,000 or 6,000 parcels – or in peak time up to 20,000. We have to build our network capacity to handle that traffic.” She also warned that mindsets needed to change.
“Out of 500,000 people employed at India Post, many are over 50. A postman won’t differentiate between an e-Commerce parcel and a postcard, so things need to change,” Arora added.
Pradeep Kumar, head of cargo at Jet Airways, noted that companies needed to embrace automation. “That will have a lesser cost. We must try to achieve economies of scale and need to look closely at each and every area.”
The broadly discussed topics were supply chain of e-Commerce, regulatory elements, how the new players will affect the traditional ones, how the air cargo supply chain will change in the future, custom examination process, IT systems, and safety compliances and how air cargo will become ‘the choice’ for e-Commerce ventures in the future.
Other panelists included L R Sridhar, Founder & CEO, Connect India e-Commerce Services; AL Nahiyan Gangani, Head of business, Alibaba.com India E-Commerce; Ramesh Mamidala, CEO, Celebi Delhi Cargo Terminal Management; Rajiv Khanna, Country Head, Express & Commercial, Jeena & Company. The panel discussion was moderated by Des Vertannes.