February 26, 2020: The private airliner Spicejet started a dedicated freight service connecting Visakhapatnam and Chennai to Surat and Kolkata targeted on marine products and pharmaceuticals.
“This is a historic event for Indian perishable logistics, as Airport Authority of India and Spicejet coming together to make a dedicated freight service to help shrimp farming by bringing down the humungous mortality rate and heavy losses,” said Vandana Aggarwal, economic advisor, Ministry of Civil Aviation while speaking at the three-day exhibition Air Cargo India in Mumbai.
The Indian shrimp season starts in February and goes till June of every year.
Initiated under the Marine Krishi Udan scheme introduced by finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman with her Budget 2020, the service is expected to help the shrimp business as the air cargo will deliver the shrimp seeds from Chennai and Visakhapatnam to the hatcheries in West Bengal and Gujarat will reach much faster with less mortality rate and bringing down the loss of around 40 percent while transporting through road or sea. As farming will be more efficient, exports are also expected to increase.
Vandana added “Regarding the logistics of perishables, the ministry of civil aviation was into some experiments where Agri commodities were transported from landlocked states in the northeast to the mainland. But most of the experiments went economically unsustainable. The supply is ready; the demand is there it is the supply chain somehow not able to them both.”