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       Vol.: XXI Issue 02; January 2021   04th - 05th of same month at G.P.O. New Delhi-110001; RNI No.: DELENG/2003/10642; Date of Publication: 03/01/2021

                                                                                                                                                    A DDP Publication

       Pages 48 | 50

What is stopping                                                                                                   Industry gears up for
AFS policy from                                                                                  vaccine storage
taking off in india                                                                                & distribution

 Setting foot in 2021
    Kalpana Lohumi
                                                                                 contents                    JANUARY 2021

    Smita Kulshreshth
                                                                                            Pg.        INTERNATIONAL NEWS
    General Manager
    Harshal Ashar                                                                                      News from the industry
    Yogita Bhurani
    Gaganpreet Kaur
                                                                                            Pg.   10   Industry Report

    Sales Co-Ordinator
                                                                                                       Auto component industry
    Jaspreet Kaur                                                                                      registers exports at ` 390,003 cr
    Nityanand Misra
                                                                                            Pg.   12   Cover Story
    Designers                                                                                          What is stopping AFS Policy
    Vikas Mandotia
    Nitin Kumar
                                                                                                       from taking off in India?
    Production Manager
    Anil Kharbanda                                                                          Pg.   22   Industry Opinion
    Circulation Manager                                                                                Industry gears up for vaccine
    Ashok Rana
                                                                                                       storage and distribution

                                                                                            Pg.   32   Industry Expectations
                                                                                 22                    Setting foot in 2021

                                                                                            Pg.   36   Tech Talk
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                                                                                                       from Union Budget 2021-22

4 CARGOTALK               JANUARY - 2021                                                                             

    46% of air cargo industry                                                  Asia-Pacific registers
    ready for transportation of                                                3.2% growth in air cargo
    vaccines: TIACA & Pharma.Aero                                              business between Oct & Dec
    TIACA, together with Pharma.Aero released a special report for             According to data provider WorldACD, air cargo’s gradual demand
    air cargo, pharmaceuticals and life sciences professionals de-             recovery slowed in November, but there were signs that volumes were
    tailing the requirements and airfreight preparedness for COV-              picking up again in December. The company’s data for the month of
    ID-19 vaccines transportation. The Sunrays project report shows            November shows that in ‘a year like no other’ volumes declined by
    that 46 per cent of                                                        12.6 per cent year on year but rates experienced their strongest
    air cargo industry                                                         increase since the months of April and May. The demand decreases
    stakeholders, includ-                                                      lags behind performance in October, with volumes down by two per
    ing airlines, freight                                                      cent. Despite this, rates were on the up. “Yields/rates in November
    forwarders, ground                                                         are usually about four per cent above those in October; this year the
    handlers, airport op-                                                      increase was 11.2 per cent, from US$2.97 per kg to US$3.30,”
    erators and IT solu-                                                       WorldACD said. WorldACD added that overall capacity went up by
    tion providers, now                                                        one per cent from October to November, with freighter capacity
    feel well prepared for                                                     decreasing by one per cent and cargo capacity on passenger aircraft
    the transportation of                                                      increasing by three per cent. “Asia Pacific was the only origin region
    COVID-19 vaccines,                                                         growing its air cargo business between October and November by
    a significant increase                                                     3.2 per cent,” the data provider said. “Not surprisingly, given the
    compared to only 28                                                        large orders of PPE-goods, shipments above 5,000 kgs grew year on
    per cent feeling ready two months ago. Although the improvement            year, whilst all smaller weight breaks lost between 16 per cent and
    is seen across the whole industry, ground handlers, who were               29 per cent year on year.”
    the least prepared in September, reported the strongest jump in
    preparedness. “Industry has clearly stepped up its efforts to get
    ready for the largest logistics effort ever seen and with 79 per
    cent feeling more prepared than three months ago, we applaud
    the readiness progress the air cargo community has made,”
    stated Nathan De Valck, Chairman of Pharma.Aero’s Board of
    Directors and member of the Sunrays project.

    Agility, Aramex, Hellmann                                                  Budapest Airport handles
    & K+N join Hope Consortium                                                 13,864 tonnes in Nov, records
    to deliver vaccine doses                                                   6.3% more than a year ago
    The newly launched Hope Consortium, a UAE-based public-private
    partnership, has bolstered its distribution reach following a strategic
    agreement with leading international freight forwarders. The latest
    consortium partners, which include Agility, Aramex, Hellmann
    and Kuehne + Nagel, will help address the different steps of the
    logistical challenge, including ‘last mile’, with a capacity of billions
    of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses by the end of 2021. Spearheaded
    by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, the Hope Consortium
    appointed these global transport companies based on their expert
    abilities and reach to safely and effectively deliver vaccine doses
    under cold and ultra-cold conditions (temperature bands 2-8° C,
    -20° C and -80° C) between transportation hubs, warehouses,                Despite the global challenges experienced in 2020, Budapest
    medical facilities and other final destinations in over 170 countries.     Airport handled 13,864 tonnes of air cargo this November, which
                                                                               is 6.3 per cent more than a year ago and the strongest monthly
                                                                               cargo performance on record. Meanwhile, the volume of goods
                                                                               received and launched from January to November 2020 has
                                                                               exceeded 120,000 tonnes. With the year’s end approaching,
                                                                               we can state with certainty that cargo traffic at the Hungarian
                                                                               capital airport and the BUD Cargo City opened a year ago have
                                                                               proven immune to the pandemic. Dr. Rolf Schnitzler, the CEO
                                                                               of Budapest Airport highlighted that this is attributable not just to
                                                                               pandemic-related shipments, changed purchasing habits and the
                                                                               entire cargo community, but in particular to the 50 million EUR fully
                                                                               private investment undertaken by Budapest Airport into the world-
                                                                               class facilities of the BUD Cargo City, which attracts more and more
                                                                               cargo business.

6 CARGOTALK   JANUARY - 2021                                                                                                  

Swiss WorldCargo                                   Emirates SkyCargo
readies for                                        lifts first batch
COVID-19 vaccine                                   of Pfizer-BioNTech
distribution                                       COVID-19 vaccines
                                                   Emirates SkyCargo has flown COVID-19 vac-
                                                   cines, manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech,
                                                   to the UAE for the first time for the Dubai          Lufthansa Cargo
                                                   Health Authority (DHA). On arrival at DXB, the
                                                   containers with the vaccines were unloaded           unveils COVID-19 Temp
                                                   on priority from the aircraft and then taken
                                                   to Emirates SkyCargo’s dedicated pharma
                                                                                                        Premium for vaccine
                                                   facility Emirates SkyPharma to await clear-
                                                   ance for delivery. Nabil Sultan, Emirates
                                                   Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo says,        In view of the approvals of various COVID-19
                                                   “At Emirates SkyCargo we are doing our part          vaccines in many countries, Lufthansa
                                                   to join Dubai’s efforts to fight the COVID-19        Cargo has announced that the cargo
                                                   pandemic. Emirates SkyCargo has set up               carrier is well prepared for their global
Swiss WorldCargo has prepared for the              the world’s largest airside hub dedicated to         distribution in the coming months. Air freight
distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, for the         distributing COVID-19 vaccines and we stand          is indispensable for the fast and reliable
past six months. Beginning in summer               ready to support not just Dubai, but coun-           intercontinental distribution of highly sensitive
2020, the company set up an internal               tries around the world, including markets            pharmaceuticals. Therefore, a dedicated
task force to analyse the potential for            with limited cool chain infrastructure with our      task force has prepared a variety of possible
shipping COVID-19 vaccines throughout              advanced capabilities.                               transport scenarios since spring. While the
the world. The task force, comprising team                                                              transport of COVID-19 vaccines is already
members from different divisions, has                                                                   available with Lufthansa Cargo the company
closely analysed how Swiss WorldCargo’s                                                                 now announced a premium product to its
aircraft, network and capacity to and from                                                              customers that was specifically developed
Switzerland, can best support these global                                                              for the transport of COVID-19 vaccines. The
shipments. Recently, the company has                                                                    product called COVID-19 Temp Premium will
successfully carried out first shipments.                                                               be bookable as of January 11, 2021 and
These have proven that the company can                                                                  will provide a high level of comprehensive
handle complex regulatory and customer                                                                  and personalised customer service along the
necessities, including temperature, cold-                                                               travel chain, including seamless monitoring
chain and timing requirements.                                                                          of vaccine shipments throughout the entire
                                                                                                        process and a 24/7 after-sales support.

LATAM to fly COVID vaccine                                                    Air Charter Service readies cargo
domestically at no charge                                                     capacity with BAe6 146 freighter
LATAM Airlines Group has announced that it will fly COVID-19                  With the Brexit transition period ending on January 1, Air Charter
vaccine shipments at no charge on domestic flights in Latin                   Service has started to secure exclusive capacity for its customers
America. The offer is an extension of the airline’s Solidarity Plane          by contracting a UK-registered BAe 146 freighter. The aircraft is
programme in which the carrier will transport vaccines, when they             potentially the first of several options that ACS is securing in order
become available, to Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.               to ensure that, in the scramble for capacity due to Brexit disruption,
The company said it will support distribution of vaccines for free,           it can continue to offer its clients competitive solutions. As the
based on requests from governments. Since August, a team of                   aircraft is UK-registered, there will be no need for permits to fly into
more than 20 people from LATAM Cargo has been planning                        the country. Dan Morgan-Evans, Group Cargo Director, Air Charter
transport scenarios for COVID-19 vaccines, which require special              Service, says, “According to government statistics, if even a small
temperature-control equipment and processes. LATAM Cargo has                  percentage of cargo coming through the UK’s sea ports in January
stations with pharmaceutical capabilities at 30 locations in Europe,          requires transportation by air due to the disruption, there would
the U.S. and Chile, and four that are waiting to be opened in China.          be a significant requirement for airfreight – the equivalent of filling
LATAM has a certificate of excellence for meeting pharmaceutical              thousands of Boeing B747 freighters, in some scenarios. With the
shipping standards from the International Air Transport Association.          continued lack of belly capacity potentially exacerbated in January by
                                                                              this anticipated spike in demand, charter aircraft will have to pick up
                                                                              the shortfall.”

                                                                                                                                JANUARY - 2021   CARGOTALK 7

    DB Schenker & Cargolux to                                               Shell to supply sustainable
    start weekly Indiana charter                                            aviation fuel to DHL Express
    for pharma shipments                                                    at Schiphol Airport
    DB Schenker and Cargolux announced a new full charter cargo             Shell Aviation has announced an agreement to supply DHL Express
    connection between Luxembourg and Indianapolis, USA, starting           with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at Schiphol Airport. The deal
    in January 2021. With this new agreement both partners expand           sees DHL Express become the first customer to be supplied
    their well-established 15 year-long partnership. Cargolux’s initial     under Shell and Neste’s SAF supply agreement, announced in
    service between its home base in Luxembourg and the Indiana             September 2020.
    capital was inaugurated in 2005 to support DB Schenker’s busi-          The agreement will enable DHL Express to take regular flights
    ness in the region. The successful collaboration has grown over         using SAF, an important step forward in its ambition of reducing all
    the years and is now cemented through this charter solution.            logistics-related emissions to zero by 2050. The volume of SAF being
    With weekly departures on a Boeing 747 freighter DB Schen-              supplied by Shell Aviation represents a full year of DHL Express’s fuel
    ker makes Cargolux’s extensive experience in the handling of            requirements from Schiphol Airport, helping to reduce its emissions
    pharmaceutical and healthcare goods available for its customers         from this European hub. The SAF will be used in blended form and
    in Europe and Northern America. By partnering with the lead-            is made from sustainably sourced, renewable waste and residue
    ing provider of transportation services for pharmaceutical and          raw materials. In its neat form and over the lifecycle it reduces
    healthcare products and the airline that was, in 2014, the first        greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 per cent compared to fossil
    to be GDP certified, DB Schenker reaches a milestone in setting         jet fuels.
    up its new healthcare service portfolio DB SCHENKERlife+.

    CHAMP Cargosystems                                                      Cosco Shipping connects
    and CargoAi join forces,                                                Port of Le Havre to Russia
    connect systems via APIs                                                and Finland
                            CHAMP Cargosystems has announced its
                            partnership with CargoAi; by connecting
                            their systems through APIs, both partners
                            are giving their users new connections and
                            capabilities for the future. “Our clients and
                            users are at the heart of this partnership.
                            Creating value for them has always been our
                            priority and that is why we have the widest
                            range of suites of systems dedicated to air
                            freight. Being available on CargoAi, if they
                            wish, is therefore an additional service that   COSCO Shipping has recently included Le Havre in its shortsea RFS4
    Nicholas Xenocostas     we can offer our clients,’’ says Nicholas
    VP Commercial &                                                         schedule serving Russia and Finland every week. The container
    Customer Engagement
                            Xenocostas, VP Commercial & Customer            ship Mv NAVI BALTIC made its first call at the port, at the Terminal
    CHAMP Cargosystems      Engagement,        CHAMP       Cargosystems.    de France, making HAROPA – Le Havre Port central to its RFS4
                            Connecting        via                           shortsea service on December 16. This service was put in place
    APIs, CHAMP and CargoAi in effect enable                                by COSCO SHIPPING in conjunction with its shortsea-dedicated
    supply chain partners to be integrated. “Our                            subsidiary Diamond Line, and it now connects the Normandy port
    goal remains the same; to make digitisation                             directly with Russia (port of Saint-Petersburg/Bronka) and Finland
    accessible to all industry players. This                                (Kotka port). Starting on this date, a rotation will therefore involve
    partnership with CHAMP is a real boon                                   two Ice Class 1 AS vessels, a class representing the highest ice
    for our customers. Because thanks to                                    certification. These ships carry all types of container (20-feet, 40-
    the joint work we have accomplished, our                                feet, Hi-Cube + SOC) and have over 300 reefer points on board.
    customers can grow their businesses by                                  This service is made possible by particularly competitive export &
    being connected to each other, without                                  import transit times: for exports, Le Havre can in fact reach Saint-
    having to do anything,” says CargoAi CEO                                Petersburg in four days and Kotka in five; for imports, Kotka to Le
    Matthieu Petot.                                Matthieu Petot
                                                  CEO, CargoAi              Havre takes four days.

8 CARGOTALK   JANUARY - 2021                                                                                                

   Auto component industry
   marks exports at   390,003 cr
   The turnover of the automotive component industry stood at 1.19 lakh crore for the period April 2020 to September 2020
   which is registering a decline of 34 per cent over the first half of the previous year. Component sales to OEMs in the
   domestic market contracted the most to   87120 crore (US$ 11.6 billion), declining 42 per cent.

                                       CT Bureau

                                              utomotive        Component    2020, registering a de-growth of 34 per      faced unprecedented challenges in

                                   A          Manufacturers Association
                                              of India (ACMA) has
                                   announced the findings of its industry
                                                                            cent over the first half of the previous
                                                                            year. Commenting on the performance
                                                                            of the auto component industry in India,
                                                                                                                         the first-half of FY 2020-21. The auto
                                                                                                                         component industry, through agility,
                                                                                                                         flexibility and financial discipline, has
                                   performance review for the first half    Vinnie Mehta, Director General, ACMA,        displayed remarkable resilience and has
                                   of fiscal 2020-21. The turnover of the   says, “The auto industry witnessed a         comeback strongly with the unlocking
                                   automotive component industry stood      downturn in FY2019-20, the situation         of the economy. I am thankful to the
                                   at 1.19 lakh crore (USD 15.9 billion)    further aggravated with the outbreak         OEMs for their support and for the
                                   for the period April 2020 to September   of the pandemic and the lockdown.            timely intervention by the government,
                                                                            While the first quarter for FY20-21 was      especially in addressing the supply side
                                                                            significantly stressed, however with         challenges. Going forward, whilst the
                                                                            unlocking of the economy, the sales          performance of the industry during the
                                                                            of vehicles witnessed improvement,           festive season has been heartening,
                                                                            month-on-month, in the second quarter.       there are indications that the vehicle
                                                                            The component industry, in tandem,           demand, in the coming months, will
                                                                            posted a subdued performance with de-        be sustained. This, together with the
                                                                            growth of 34 per cent over the first half    increased focus by the auto industry
                                                                            of the last fiscal, registering a turnover   on deep-localisation and the recent
                                                                            of 1.19 lakh crore (US$ 15.9 billion).       announcement of PLI schemes for the
                                                                            However, for the first time ever, the        automotive sector and cell/battery
                                                                            industry witnessed a trade surplus with      manufacturing by the government,
                                                                            Auto Component exports at 39,003             augur well towards making the auto-
                                                                            crore (US$ 5.2 billion) and imports at       component industry a self-reliant
                                                                              37,710 crore (USD 5.0 billion); both       one. We are also hopeful that the
                                                                            exports and imports declined by 23.6         government would consider PLI or
   Vinnie Mehta                    Deepak Jain                              per cent and 32.7 per cent respectively.     appropriate manufacturing schemes for
   Director General                President
   ACMA                            ACMA                                     The aftermarket estimated at 31,116          auto-electronics and xEV components
                                                                            crore, also witnessed de-growth of 15        as well.”
        For the first time ever,       The auto component                   per cent. Component sales to OEMs
                                                                            in the domestic market contracted the        Elaborating on the mood of the industry
   the industry witnessed a        industry, through agility,               most to Rs.87120 crore (US$ 11.6             and outlook for the near to mid-term
   trade surplus with Auto         flexibility and financial                billion), declining 42 per cent”.            future, Jain mentioned, “According to
   Component exports at            discipline, has displayed                                                             the recent ACMA-PwC joint survey of
                                                                            Sharing his insights on the performance      ACMA leadership, despite concerns
     39,003 crore (US$ 5.2         remarkable resilience and                of the auto component industry,              of another wave of pandemic, the
   billion) and imports            has comeback strongly                    Deepak Jain, President, ACMA said,           industry is cautiously optimistic about
   at 37,710 crore                 with the unlocking of the                “In the backdrop of the pandemic and         the prospects of the economy and the
   (USD 5.0 bn)                    economy                                  the lockdown, the automotive industry        automotive sector for FY2021-22.”

10 CARGOTALK    JANUARY - 2021                                                                                                        

                                What is stopping
      AFS policy from
    taking off in India?             In a bid to ease processes and bring efficiency in the air cargo industry, the Air
                                    Freight Stations (AFSs) policy was introduced by government in the country
                                    six years ago. However, the concept was buried, and no AFS is operational
                                    till date except the one in Chennai which was established before the policy
                                    came out.             delves into the reasons of why this project is not gaining
                                    popularity in India as compared to the European and US countries.

12 CARGOTALK   JANUARY - 2021                                                                   

                                                                                       Sunil Arora                                  Raman Raj Sud
                                                                                       President, Air Cargo Agents Association of   President
                                                                                       India (ACAAI) and Mentor Cargo Industry,     Delhi Customs Broker Association (DCBA)
                                                                                       India Cargo Awards

                                                                                           If we study the best                         Private custodians do
                                                                                       practices worldwide,                         not wish AFS to come up
                                                                                       85-90 per cent of the                        because of their vested
                                                                                       cargo in the major                           interests. Without thinking
                                                                                       cargo hubs like Dubai,                       about the trade, the
                                                                                       Singapore, Hong Kong                         custodians are monopolising
                                                                                       come from AFS                                the air cargo sector

                                                                                       policy guidelines of AFS as this is very
                                                                                       important for the logistics infrastructure
                                                                                       in the country. ACAAI supported this
                                                                                       policy and we were even part of the
                                                                                       consultative committee. However, it is
                                                                                       quite strenuous to understand the main
                                                                                       reason of AFS not taking off in India.”

                                                                                       Commenting on why the project is
                                                                                       not taking off in India, Raman Raj
                                                                                       Sud, President, DCBA, voices, “Private
                                                                                       custodians do not wish AFS to come
    Kalpana Lohumi                                                                     up because of their vested interests,”
                                                                                       in adding, “Without thinking about the
            n October 28, 2014, the         formalities should be completed without    trade, the custodians are monopolising

O           Ministry of Civil Aviation
            announced the policy
guidelines on AFSs with an objective
                                            hassles for cargo transport. However,
                                            the concept never took off in India
                                            despite the fact that shipping industry
                                                                                       the air cargo sector. Hence, they are not
                                                                                       letting it to be implemented.”

to strengthen air cargo logistics           is using off-dock freight stations         “Making a policy is one thing and
infrastructure in the country. The          effectively from last so many years and    then implementation of it is also a
initiative of AFS was taken to create an    flourishing.           spoke to industry   very serious matter. There is no use of      An enabling environment
enabling environment for promoting          experts to understand why the air cargo    making a law or a policy if government
international air cargo operations by       sector has failed to imitate the success   cannot implement it,” he adds                    The initiative of AFS was taken
reaching out to hinterland regions of       of Container Freight Stations (CFSs) in                                                  to create an enabling environment
the country besides de-congesting the       shipping industry.                         In one of the conferences organised by        for promoting international air
                                                                                                                                     cargo operations by reaching
congested air cargo terminals in some                                                  PHD Chamber of Commerce in 2018,
                                                                                                                                     out to hinterland regions of the
gateway international airports that face    On this, Sunil Arora, President, Air       Former Civil Aviation Secretary, R N          country besides de-congesting
high dwell time. AFS was supposed to        Cargo Agents Association of India          Choubey also focussed on the matter,          the congested air cargo
be an extension of the airport or an off-   (ACAAI), shares, “Lot of analysis and      saying, “We are actively pushing for          terminals in some gateway
terminal facility where all import/export   studies were done before setting up the    establishment of offsite AFS. This is         international airports.

                                                                                                                                                 JANUARY - 2021      CARGOTALK 13

                                against the financial interest of airport       thereby reducing air logistics costs for    departments but have failed miserably
                                operators, but this is the way forward.”        companies engaged in foreign trade.         due to the fact that terminal operators
                                                                                Continental Carriers is the first company   have more say in MoCA/AERA/Logistics
                                Stressing on the monopoly of terminal           that did huge investment in the AFS,        Departments of Commerce Ministry
                                operators, Vipin Vohra, Chairman,               believing the Government of India’s AFS     and they are not interested that this
                                Continental Carriers, says, “This is a          policy appreciating the idea of boosting    concept gets started.”
                                government policy and a key project             the economy and bringing supply
                                of ‘Make in India’ campaign, still we           chain management on par with global         He further added that unnecessary
                                wonder why MoCA is not initiating and           standards. This has been a disappointing    hurdles and roadblocks in infrastructure
                                starting air freight stations in the country.   journey since the first Green Field AFS     are not allowing this policy to take off.
                                The AFS policy was announced with an            of Continental Carriers was approved        Since the announcement, Continental
                                aim to increase air cargo volumes by            by government on August 8, 2016. It’s       Carriers has communicated with all
                                decongesting the air cargo terminals            already been six years. We have been        the government departments viz.
                                at the international gateway airports,          struggling with all the government          MoCA/AERA/Logistics Departments of
                                                                                                                            Commerce Ministry etc., but no result
                                                                                                                            has been formulated. Today, when
                                                                                                                            everyone is gearing up for COVID
                                                                                                                            vaccine delivery management, we are
                                                                                                                            still not sure about the future of AFS,
                                                                                                                            whereas, in other countries the concept
                                                                                                                            of off-airport cargo handling has been
                                                                                                                            in practice for decades. The failure of
                                                                                                                            this policy will only hamper our Prime
                                                                                                                            Minister’s vision to ‘Make in India’ and
                                                                                                                            develop India as a manufacturing hub
                                                                                                                            for the world.

                                                                                                                            AV Vijaykumar, Chairman, FFFAI
                                                                                                                            shares the key obstacles which
                                                                                                                            have derailed this initiative. He says,
                                                                                                                            “Firstly is the reluctance on the part
                                                                                                                            of terminal operators based on the
                                                                                                                            unfounded fear of loss of revenue.

14 CARGOTALK   JANUARY - 2021                                                                                                            

                                                                                         Vipin Vohra                                   AV Vijaykumar
                                                                                         Chairman, Continental Carriers and            Chairman
                                                                                         Gallery of Legends 2015, India Cargo Awards   FFFAI

                                                                                             AFS is a present-day                           Reluctance on
                                                                                         solution to complement air                    the part of terminal
                                                                                         cargo terminals and would                     operators based on
                                                                                         make air cargo handling and                   the unfounded fear
                                                                                         supply chain management                       of loss of revenue and
                                                                                         on par with the global                        failure of AERA to fix
Second is the failure of AERA to fix       “The policy aims at increasing air cargo at   standards of logistics                        charges are the
charges for airside to landside transfer   various airports across India by utilising    management                                    key obstacles
of pallet charges. Then, there is          airline capacity where cargo handling
hesitation amongst airlines to support     facilities are not adequate. Unexpected       sufficient human resources, shortage
off location movement of inbound           lockdown because of COVID-19 has              of import cargo storage and lack of
cargoes as they were unsure of the         already shown us the challenges we are        customs clearance airport are few of the
liability allocation. Also, there are      going to face in the future. During this      reasons which might not be letting this
BCAS screening regulations and lack of     period the airport terminals got over         project to take off.”
export consolidation and USD selling for   congested and operators were not able
outbound cargoes.”                         to handle cargo. AFS is undoubtedly           On the other hand, Rajesh Menon,
                                           an innovative alternate solution that         Regional Head Cargo – South Asia,
“The Ministry of Civil Aviation had        would decongest air terminals and help        Middle East and Africa, Cathay Pacific
announced the policy very ambitiously,     in better cargo management and an             Airways, expresses optimism by saying,
surely with other ministries on board      essential step towards making India a         “The government has been actively
in the year 2014. The guidelines           manufacturing hub under the Prime             pushing for establishment of AFSs as
were also drawn but the quickness          Minister’s ambitious ‘Make in India’          per the policy guidelines of 2014. And,
with which the guidelines have been        scheme. If a solution is not found soon,      with the 2019 air cargo policy and the
implemented was not up to the mark,        this industry will remain a victim to the     government’s vision to make India
to say the least. There should have        monopolistic practices being carried out      among the top five air freight markers by
been one Ministry responsible with         by the terminal operators,” points Vohra.     2025, there have been multiple initiatives
all committee members of different                                                       towards key infrastructural development.
Ministries to take quick decisions.        Sharing the reason why it didn’t take         We are sure the AFS project will be rolled
                                                                                                                                       An off-terminal facility
The AFS operator should have got           off in India, Tigist Eshetu, Regional         out as a part of the same.”
the results within a fortnight. The        Director – Indian Suncontinent,                                                                   AFS was supposed to be an
delay in the process leads to the cost     Ethiopian Airlines, mentions, “There          According to Mahesh P Trikha,                   extension of the airport or an
escalation in infrastructure projects      is lack of modern infrastructure and          Managing Director, Aargus Global                off-terminal facility where all
like this which no one wants to            effective technology for cargo handling       Logistics, “Investing in AFS in the given       import formalities should be
undertake. Even today it is not late,      supply chain. The overall infrastructure      circumstances is very challenging and           completed without hassles for
let a formidable committee be made         did not have the facility for warehousing     rather innovative too.” He says, “Indian        cargo transport. However, the
with decision making authorities           special cargo like frozen food, animals,      air cargo sector fully understands              concept never took off in India
and you would see the results on           DGR/express products. Complicated             the benefits of it. The major hurdle,           despite the fact that shipping
the ground,” says S. Ramakrishna,          regulatory processes and procedures           at the moment, seems to be lack of              industry is using off-dock
Director, Balaji Mariline.                 is another reason. Moreover, lack of          transparency or understanding by                freight stations effectively.

                                                                                                                                                  JANUARY - 2021   CARGOTALK 15

                                  a couple of government agencies             cargo hubs like Dubai, Singapore, Hong       global standards then AFS is the only
                                  especially relating to security. Hence,     Kong come from AFS. Moreover, AFS            ideal solution where all loose cargo
                                  there are few takers for setting up AFS     should not be taken as a competitive         will be processed, centralised and will
                                  in the present circumstances.”              establishment to the airports, be it a       be delivered to airports and in the
                                                                              Greenfield or Brownfield airport. It         reverse flow will be shifted to AFS for
                                  Competition brings                          should be considered as an additional        further delivery to the end customer. We
                                  efficiency                                  facility to promote the Exim of the          must appreciate the fact that AFS is a
                                  “It is proven worldwide that AFSs have      country,” emphasises Arora.                  present-day solution to complement
                                  brought in healthy competition because                                                   air cargo terminals and would make
                                  if we study the best practices worldwide,   “AFS should not be restricted only for       air cargo handling and supply chain
                                  85-90 per cent of the cargo in the major    big freight forwarders to open rather it     management on par with the global
                                                                              should have been considered as a policy      standards of logistics management and
                                                                              which would bring in lot of infrastructure   a step towards growth and efficiency.”
                                                                              investment in the country. Lot of big
                                                                              giants, not only multinational freight       “Competition always brings efficiency
                                                                              forwarders, but big manufacturing            and presently there is no competition.
                                                                              organisations like Panasonic, Siemens,       At Delhi airport, the custodian is Delhi
                                                                              Honda, Pfizer, Dr Reddy’s Lab and            International Airport (DIAL) and it
                                                                              Lupin, etc. should have been given an        has further appointed two different
                                                                              opportunity to open an AFS wherein           concessionaires; Celebi and DCSC. The
                                                                              cargo immediately, after landing, moves      aim of making DCSC was that there
                                                                              into AFS and gets customs cleared. And,      would be competition between the
                                                                              for export purpose a big export unit         two concessionaires and the benefit
                                                                              should have been allowed to open their       will go to trade but unfortunately it
                                                                              AFS where they can clear their cargo,”       has not happened because airlines
                                                                              he continues.                                are now divided between the two
                                                                                                                           concessionaires. So, if we have to do
   S. Ramakrishna                  Tigist Eshetu                              Adding to this, Vohra notes, “At             business with any airline one cannot
   Director                        Regional Director – Indian Suncontinent    present, the infrastructure at several       go to any other than the specified
   Balaji Mariline                 Ethiopian Airlines
                                                                              major airports is inadequate, causing        concessionaire by them. It was
        Even today it is not            Lack of sufficient human              extensive delays. Consequently, the          discussed and they said it is technically
                                                                              dwell time becomes very high. The            not feasible. Technical feasibility should
   late, let a formidable          resources, shortage of                     transaction costs also increase due to       have been seen before appointing two
   committee be made               import cargo storage and                   such delays, thereby making exports          of them,” underlines Sud.
   with decision making            lack of customs clearance                  from India uncompetitive in comparison
                                                                              to exports from other countries. AFS         He says, “With AFS coming up, there will
   authorities and you             airport are few of the reasons             will certainly make dwell cost low and       be more competition and naturally it will
   would see the results on        which might not be letting                 export rates competitive. If we want         benefit the service level and commercial
   the ground                      this project to take off                   the Indian air cargo industry to match       level. Competition always brings out the

16 CARGOTALK     JANUARY - 2021                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                         delays and sub optimal performances,”
                                                                                                                                         expresses Vijaykumar, in adding, “A
                                                                                                                                         close comparison of the rates charges at
                                                                                                                                         the terminals would highlight that rates
                                                                                                                                         are almost similar despite the variable
                                                                                                                                         capital and operating costs of the
                                                                                                                                         terminal operators. The issue of royalty
                                                                                                                                         is a serious cost push to users.”

                                                                                                                                         Throwing more light on the subject,
                                                                                                                                         Sud adds, “As and when meetings were
                                                                                                                                         held between AERA and custodians to
                                                                                                                                         discuss rates, which were arbitrarily
                                                                                                                                         increased, DCBA was not taken in
                                                                                                                                         the loop in deciding the rates but the
                                                                                                                                         minutes of such meetings showed
                                                                                                                                         the presence of DCBA. The same was
                                                                                                                                         also brought to the notice of AERA.
                                                                                                                                         This completely signifies that we are
                                                                                                                                         being misled.”
                                          best in the services. With AFS in place,       distinct advantage of handling more
                                          an exporter will rather go to the nearby       aircrafts which would mean more                 “With AFS in place, all work which is
                                          AFS than to the airport; it is exactly the     revenue, more efficacy, ranking of their        done at the airport presently will be
                                          same we have seen being done in ICDs           airport will be high, the logistics cost will   done in an AFS and when it is done in
                                          and CFSs. The purpose of ICD, CFS and          reduce. Above all, the Exim trade is at a       AFS, container will directly get loaded
                                          AFS is to make processes simpler.”             distinct advantage.”                            in the aircraft from AFS, so definitely
                                                                                                                                         there is a possibility of less charges
                                          Explaining further, Vijaykumar says,           TSP charges; a reason                           as compared to the cargo which goes
                                          “The role of an airport operator is not to     of deferral                                     directly to the airport. In the current
                                          warehouse cargoes pending clearances.          According to the circular issued by             scenario, let’s say if the TSP charges
                                          Congestion at airports are regular             MoCA, airport operators and air                 are 100 per cent, when cargo will come
                                          occurrences and lack of competition            cargo terminal operators shall accept           through AFS it will be 30-40 per cent of
                                          has also diluted the performances on           palletised ULDs for bulk cargo in the case      the existing charges,” expounds Arora.
                                          par with international standards across        of exports from an approved AFS facility
                                          many Indian airports. An AFS can offer         and facilitate its transfer to the airside.     Arora comments, “If exporters and
                                          an economic and efficient remedy to            They shall not insist on levying full           importers have to pay twice; one to the
                                          these issues.”                                 Terminal, Storage and Processing (TSP)          AFS and secondly when cargo goes to
                                                                                         charges on consignments/cargo meant             the airport then export through AFS will
                                          “We have been fighting for this policy         for/received from AFS (particularly in          not be feasible and will not be a practical
   AFS; an enabler in                     to take off for years, but the first AFS has   respect of ready for carriage conditions        approach. If the expenses are not
   Make in India scheme                   not even started yet. We at ACAAI have         export cargo) for its transfer from land        incurred on the cargo coming from AFS
                                          supported this policy, and whatever            to airside and vice-versa since no value        then why charge for that? If it is a direct
         AFS is an innovative alternate   has been the issue, whether it is rates        addition is contemplated at the airport         transfer of cargo from AFS to airside
     solution that would decongest air    or tariff adjustments, they should have        terminal. AERA while approving TSP              or to the ramp then in that case bare
     terminals and help in better cargo   been discussed and amicably agreed             charges shall give a break-up of Transit,       minimum charges should be worked
     management and an essential          upon,” says Arora.                             Storage and Processing charges.                 out, discussed, negotiated because at
     step towards making India a                                                                                                         the end of the day it is not about TSP
     manufacturing hub under the
                                          According to Ramakrishna, “It is not           “It is unfortunate that despite the             charges, there has to be willingness to
     Prime Minister’s ambitious ‘Make
     in India’ scheme. If a solution      only going to be the efficiency level          establishment of AERA, users have not           bring AFS policy up and running. If the
     is not found soon, this industry     alone, saving of cost will also be a           witnessed any accountability on the             policy had been concluded by this time,
     will remain a victim to the          major factor. Giving a little perspective      terminal operators commensurate with            we would have at least 30-40 AFSs not
     monopolistic practices               to efficiency level, he adds, “If the          the charges levied. AERA seems to               only in and around Delhi but around
     being carried out by the             build-up unit is moved to and fro from         be fixated on a ‘light touch’ approach          major hubs like Mumbai, Bengaluru,
     terminal operators                   AFS, the airport operators will have a         despite the users highlighting the              Hyderabad, etc.”

18 CARGOTALK   JANUARY - 2021                                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                      Rajesh Menon
                                                                                                                                      Regional Head Cargo – South Asia
                                                                                                                                      Middle East and Africa, Cathay Pacific Airways

                                                                                                                                           There have been
                                                                                                                                      multiple initiatives towards
                                                                                                                                      key infrastructural
                                                                                                                                      development. We are sure
                                                                                                                                      the AFS project will be
Sharing an exporter perspective,             operator. Representatives of FFFAI also     able to offer the service to our Indian
                                                                                                                                      rolled out as a part of
HKL Magu, Managing Director, Jyoti           feel that it is necessary to have clarity   customers too,” adds Menon.                  the same
Apparels and Immediate Past Chairman,        in the distribution of the charges as
Apparel Export Promotion Council             this would affect the revenue models of     Talking about whether airlines are ready
(AEPC), says, “Logistics charges are         cargo movement to the airport through       to accept cargo in palletised position in
already high and there is no scope           the AFS as most of the activities related   India, Menon says, “A pallet container
to pay higher charges. Exporters             to the cargo will be performed at AFS.      that is preloaded at the shipper or
are already struggling because of            The TSP issue has caused unexplainable      freight forwarders facility is widely
competitive prices worldwide, hence, it      delay and huge financial burden to the      accepted by Cathay Pacific across the
is not at all advisable to ask for higher    aspiring entrepreneur.”                     globe and we hope to extend this to
charges. I hope authorities will take care                                               India soon. India being an important
of this and the Ministry will ensure to      Cargo in ULDs                               market, this will be a great booster for
implement the announced policy of Air        The bonded cargo is arriving in ULDs        the business and help us provide more
Freight Stations announced in the year       across the world, so why this concept       options to our customers.”
October 2014.”                               is not getting popular in India. On this,
                                             Eshetu says, “The main but not limited      “We are in a position to accept palletised
Explaining further on the subject, Sud       reasons are Indian infrastructures          cargo in India if the above-mentioned
says, “Another problem is both the           limits, timely delivery of cargo at a       challenges can be overcome,” confirms
concessionaires have different set of        point for further chain continuity, lack    Eshetu, in adding, “Almost the entire
protocols and work in their own ways         of technically evolved RFS companies,       cargo is transported in ULDs in Africa,
which not only brings confusion but also     tedious paperwork procedure of              that is, 95 per cent of our cargo is
leads to extra charges.”                     customs at origin/destination and           coming to ADD with ULD.”
                                             borders, and insufficient infrastructure
“Continental Carriers has taken up           for managing & building ULDs for            “Hong Kong is the world’s leading
the issue of reduced terminal charges        RFS movement.”                              cargo hub and the Cathay Pacific Hong
in all the meetings with Air Cargo                                                       Kong cargo terminal is well equipped         Direct transfer of cargo
Logistics Promotion Board, Ministry of       “The bonded cargo across the world          to handle shipments in ULDs. We see
Civil Aviation, Ministry of Commerce,        is transported in ULDs. However, in         almost the majority of cargo shipped
Scope Air, AERA and all the concerned        India there have been challenges due        or received in ULDs from our hub,”               If exporters and importers
ministries since 2014. Unfortunately,        to the lack of adequate infrastructure      informs Menon.
                                                                                                                                       have to pay twice; one to
                                                                                                                                       the AFS and secondly when
all through these years this issue still     and formalised processes. With the                                                        cargo goes to the airport then
remains unresolved,” informs Vohra.          civil aviation 2019 policy, we see a        Benefits of AFS                               export through AFS will not
He continues, “Presently TSP charges         lot of promise in the infrastructure        Commenting on how the trade is going          be feasible and will not be a
of cargo are provided to the airport         development in the country and to be        to be benefitted if this project gets         practical approach.

                                                                                                                                                    JANUARY - 2021        CARGOTALK 19

                                                                                                                                          and get it loaded in the aircraft. The
                                                                                                                                          industry will support AFS strongly.”

                                                                                                                                          “Custodians are taking advantage
                                                                                                                                          of monopoly and doing business on
                                                                                                                                          their own terms. For example, with the
                                                                                                                                          purpose of decongesting the airport and
                                                                                                                                          not letting it be used as a warehouse,
                                                                                                                                          AAI issued a circular for reduction of
                                                                                                                                          free period from 72 hours to 48 hours
                                                                                                                                          and it also says that if 24x7 facility is
                                                                                                                                          not available then you will not charge
                                                                                                                                          for the holidays. Now, in Delhi 24x7
                                                                                                                                          facility is available only on paper but
                                                                                                                                          if allied agencies which means drug
                                                                                                                                          controllers, FSSAI, plant quarantine,
                                                                                                                                          animal quarantine, banks are not
                                                                                                                                          functioning on a holiday or close in half
                                                   through, Trikha says, “The transaction    operating through AFSs, once the policy      time on Saturdays, how will we manage
                                                   cost for the exporter may come down       gets through, Vijaykumar says, “If an        to do the clearance. So, there is no use
                                                   as they will enjoy the benefit of lower   economically attractive proposal is          of custodians being operational if allied
                                                   freight rates due to consolidation of     put forth, members of the forwarding         agencies are not operational. With AFS
                                                   cargo for multiple shipments.”            community will likely to take up             in place, there will be competition in
                                                                                             this challenge.”                             true sense. AFS will break the monopoly,
                                                   Sharing his views on whether FFFAI                                                     ease processes and benefit the trade,”
                                                   members would be interested in            “If the policy doesn’t get approval by       says Sud, in adding, “We have always
                                                                                             the government then the time is not far      supported this initiative and once this
                                                                                             away when cargo will be lying outside        policy gets a go ahead, we will definitely
                                                                                             the airports when ‘Make in India’            be using the AFS facilities for better
                                                                                             will come into action in the next two        services. On one side, the policy is made
                                                                                             years. In ocean freight, ICDs/CFSs are       and on the other side semi government
                                                                                             a major relief to the seaports, if ICDs      organisations are not bothered about
                                                                                             and CFSs would not have been there,          the implementation.”
                                                                                             the country would have been in big
                                                                                             trouble because of shortage of space         Connecting AFS with COVID vaccine
                                                                                             at seaports. Similarly, if the AFS policy    distribution scenario, Arora says, “If we
                                                                                             is not implemented in the next one           had got AFS placed all over India or if
                                                                                             or two months and the government             this policy had taken off, any logistics
                                                                                             does not come forward and remove             person or any supply chain management
                                                                                             all the obstacles in the way of policy       consultant would feel that it would have
                                                                                             implementation, it will not only cause       been a fantastic opportunity and ease
   Mahesh P Trikha                                 H K L Magu                                major losses but also adversely affect       distribution of vaccine throughout the
   Managing Director, Aargus Global Logistics      Managing Director, Jyoti Apparels and     the ease of doing business concept,”         country because the vaccine would have
   and Best Cargo Professional of the Year 2019,   Immediate Past Chairman, Apparel Export                                                been immediately transferred to the
                                                                                             states Vohra.
   India Cargo Awards                              Promotion Council (AEPC)
                                                                                                                                          respective AFS and from the AFS onto
       The major hurdle seems                          Exporters are                         Arora says, “An airport is situated in       an arterial network this vaccine would
                                                                                             the heart of a city with lot of traffic      have reached much faster.
   to be lack of transparency                      already struggling                        restriction, if there is an AFS in and
   or understanding by a                           because of competitive                    around an airport or may be at a little      Vohra adds, “Once the COVID-19
   couple of government                            prices worldwide,                         distance, say at an industrial park like     vaccine starts moving from India, AFS

   agencies especially relating                    hence, it is not at all                   Faridabad or Gurugram or Manesar,            will be able to help in creating cool
                                                                                             then why would I take my cargo to the        chain warehouses close to distribution
   to security. Hence, there are                   advisable to ask for                      airport. I would comfortably take it to an   centres in India and for export/import
   few takers for AFS                              higher charges                            AFS, custom clear it, palletised it there    within India and countries aboard.”

20 CARGOTALK     JANUARY - 2021                                                                                                                        

                          Industry gears up for
           Vaccine storage
           & distribution           Logistics industry is gearing up to take on the colossal
                                    task of transporting COVID-19 vaccine across the
                                    country.          reviews the state of preparedness as
                                    logistics and supply chain companies are relentlessly
                                    working to meet the impending demands for
                                    vaccine transport.

22 CARGOTALK   JANUARY - 2021                                         

                                                                                         to handle the COVID vaccine to pass
                                                                                         through our cargo terminal at Delhi.”

                                                                                         “We are ready to move vaccine across
                                                                                         the country,” says Sanjiv Gupta,
                                                                                         CEO, SpiceXpress. He further explains,
                                                                                         “In order to gear up for the upcoming
                                                                                         vaccine movement we have recently
                                                                                         launched our cold chain product –
                                                                                         SPICE PHARMA PRO with the intent to
                                                                                         provide a seamless end-to-end logistics
                                                                                         solution to the pharma companies. We
                                                                                         have partnered with some of the leading
                                                                                         logistics companies in India not only to
                                                                                         provide a speedy and reliable solution      Tushar Jani
                                                                                                                                     Chairman, CSC and Gallery of Legends 2015,
                                                                                         to the vaccine manufacturers but to         India Cargo Awards
                                                                                         also create a sustainable cold chain
                                                                                         network. Our validated cold chain boxes         Delhi Airport, where we
                                                                                         lined with phase change material and
                                                                                         vacuum insulated panels ensure zero
                                                                                                                                     operate, is fully ready with
                                                                                         temperature excursions. Our modified        infrastructure, manpower
                                                                                         data loggers and real time tracking         and processes to handle
                                                                                         portal “SpiceSENSE” demonstrate our
                                                                                                                                     the COVID-19 vaccine to
                                                                                         IT capabilities. Furthermore, with our
                                                                                         robust ground handling infrastructure       pass through our
                                                                                         and varied aircraft fleet it would not      cargo terminal
                                                                                         be out of place to mention that we
                                                                                         are appropriately equipped to handle
                                                                                         end-to-end logistics of the most sought-
                                                                                         after vaccine.”

                                                                                         Yashpal Sharma, Managing Director,
                                                                                         Skyways Group, says, “With pan-India
                                                                                         presence and deep insight into the
                                                                                         fine aspects of vaccine transportation,
                                                                                         we have existing infrastructure for
                                                                                         temperature control in three cities in
                                                                                         India and have enhanced these facilities
                                                                                         to be able to handle larger quantities of
                                                                                         vaccine. We have even collaborated with
    Kalpana Lohumi                                                                       a few cold chain warehouses in India,
                                                                                         Germany and the USA to participate in
             iming to immunise around        technology to track movement and            COVID vaccine movement.”

A            300 million people by August
             2021, India is readying a
huge vaccination drive. An incredible
                                             monitor temperature. Speaking to the
                                             industry experts,         delves into the
                                             non-negotiable requirements where the
                                                                                         “We also have reefer trucks now to
                                                                                         manage movement of vaccine and
amount of effort is going into the           company must invest and what support        a control tower has been set up to
development of COVID-19 vaccine and          industry entails from government for        facilitate the minutest detail of vaccine
once this immunisation drive will begin,     smooth logistics of vaccine.                movement. We have even worked
we will need a reliable and resilient                                                    around ample capacities with our airline
                                                                                                                                     Reliable supply chain needed
supply chain for vaccine delivery.           Are logistics service providers ready       partners to cater to the international
Logistics and supply chain companies         to serve the nation?                        movement of vaccine,” he adds.
                                                                                                                                         An incredible amount of
are relentlessly working to meet             Commenting on how CSC is preparing
                                                                                                                                      effort is going into the
the impending demands for vaccine            for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine    “Anticipating a strain on the logistics
                                                                                                                                      development of COVID-19 vaccine
transport by expanding warehousing           throughout the country, Tushar Jani,        infrastructure, with the commissioning       and once this immunisation drive
facilities, procuring refrigerated trucks,   Chairman, CSC, informs, “Delhi Airport,     of the vaccine candidate against             will begin, we will need a reliable
containers and temperature-controlled        where we operate, is fully ready with       COVID-19, we have ramped up our              and resilient supply chain for
packaging systems, and deploying             infrastructure, manpower and processes      pre-existing specialised ‘Temperature        vaccine delivery.

                                                                                                                                                  JANUARY - 2021      CARGOTALK 23

                                                                                         These rooms are in proximity to our        local freezer and storage capacity and
                                                                                         Blue Dart Aviation Stations which helps    know-how with in-country logistics.
                                                                                         increase our already pristine turnaround
                                                                                         time and will aid in speedy delivery.      With our fleet of six Boeing 757
                                                                                         We also use both single-use packaging      freighters, 20,000+ ground vehicles,
                                                                                         (which provides temperature stability of   servicing 14,000+ pin codes and a
                                                                                         48-72 hours) and multi-use boxes (credo    strong army of Blue Darters, we can
                                                                                         boxes) which provide temperature           confidently say that we are prepared to
                                                                                         stability of 96 hours,” informs Ketan      provide resilient, reliable and responsive
                                                                                         Kulkarni, CMO & Head - Business            services as the trade facilitator to the
                                                                                         Development, Blue Dart.                    nation,” Kulkarni continues.
   Sanjiv Gupta                      Yashpal Sharma
   CEO, SpiceXpress and              Managing Director, Skyways Group and
   India Cargo Awards Winner 2017    Entrepreneur of The Year 2017, India Cargo Awards   “Work-related process flows have           Commenting on the preparedness, Amit
                                                                                         been designed and rehearsed                Tandon, Managing Director, AS India,
       We have recently                 We have even                                     across locations where we have our         says, “We are now certified for GDP
   launched our cold chain          collaborated with                                    Conditioning Rooms. We have done           (Good Distribution Practices) for storage
   product – SPICE PHARMA           a few cold chain                                     our background work in terms of            and distribution of pharmaceutical
                                                                                         capacity requirements i.e. materials       products. Accordingly, we have entered
   PRO with the intent to           warehouses in India,                                 for packaging, availability of data        into agreements with GDP certified
   provide a seamless end-to-       Germany and the USA to                               loggers, insulated shippers, walk in       transporters and warehouse operators
   end logistics solution to the    participate in COVID                                 cold room, coolant, network reach,         for transportation and storage of
                                                                                         manpower preparedness, technology          pharmaceutical       products       under
   pharma companies                 vaccine movement                                     investment to handle requirements in       controlled conditions as per guidelines.”
                                                                                         this direction. As a part of the DPDHL
                                    Controlled Logistics (TCL)’ solution                 Group we have access to a larger set       In view of the vaccine storage,
                                    to successfully transport the vaccine                of assets like reefer vehicles and cold    Snowman Logistics has almost 12,000
                                    into the remotest village and the most               storage trucks from DHL Smart Trucking     pallets available immediately at various
                                    crowded city. We have also ramped up                 as well as access to the global network    locations in its network with a good
                                    our Pharma Grade Conditioning Rooms                  of DPDHL. We have access to a global       spread. Adding to this, Sunil Nair,
                                    located at eight strategic locations.                shipping network at scale as well as       CEO & Whole Time Director, Snowman

24 CARGOTALK   JANUARY - 2021                                                                                                                    

                                           Logistics, notes, “This should ideally
                                           store around 100 million vaccine doses.
                                           Some of our new locations are under
                                           construction, they should be ready
                                           by March 2021. With that we can
                                           additionally provide space for another
                                           100 million vaccine doses and with our
                                           partner network, we can add another
                                           100 million. So, in short, we can provide
                                           space equivalent to 300 million doses,      agro products and not pharma. It’s            country already has an infrastructure for
                                           nationally. With that, we have our          heartening to see that the government         polio vaccination which requires 2 to 8
                                           own 300 trucks and 200 trucks from          is now realising this and hopefully           degrees. If it is at 2 to 8 degrees, most
                                           partners. We can surely spare around        will help us to build the infrastructure      of the distribution companies have their
                                           200 trucks for this purpose. Moreover,      going ahead.”                                 infrastructure ready, so with the marginal
                                           we are already operating vaccine                                                          investment the industry is ready to face
   Ketan Kulkarni                          distribution for influenza and typhoid.     “We have very limited players dealing         this challenge and distribute.
   CMO & Head - Business Development
   Blue Dart and India Cargo Awards 2017   We are imparting similar training to        in sub-zero storage and transportation,
                                           our other employees, so that we have        so it will be interesting to see the          We wish to put it on record, India as a
        We have ramped up our              handling experience at all locations.”      government protocols for the vaccine. In      country delivers roughly 2.5 to 3 million
   pre-existing specialised                                                            addition, another issue correlated with       parcels delivery per day of e-commerce
                                           Has India enough infrastructures?           the vaccine is geographical distribution      on a nationwide basis. This network and
   ‘Temperature Controlled                 Logistics industry is prepping up for       and healthcare personnel available            infrastructure can be used for vaccine
   Logistics (TCL)’ solution to            the storage and movement of vaccine,        to transmit the doses to the masses.          distribution easily,” he adds.
   successfully transport the              but the question remains, does India        Although India has carried out the
                                           have enough infrastructure to distribute    polio vaccination programme over the
   vaccine into the remotest               vaccine. On this Nihar Parida, Industry     last few decades very successfully and
   village and the most                                                                                                              Ecosystem in place
                                           Expert, says, “India is definitely not      this ecosystem will come really handy
   crowded city                            equipped to move these vaccines at          for the movement of COVID vaccine
                                                                                                                                          India has carried out the polio
                                           such low temperature. The Government        to the smaller towns and villages,”
                                                                                                                                      vaccination programme over the
                                           of India has never concentrated in          explains Sharma.                               last few decades very successfully
                                           providing help to pharma companies                                                         and this ecosystem will come
                                           or other logistics stakeholders to build    Adding to this, Jani notes, “India is ready    really handy for the movement
                                           these infrastructures. The cold chain       for distribution if the COVID vaccine          of COVID vaccine to the smaller
                                           infrastructure was more inclined towards    requires 2 to 8 degrees because the            towns and villages.

26 CARGOTALK    JANUARY - 2021                                                                                                                     
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