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ACFI Annual Conclave 2023 Accelerates the Pace of Change in Indian Air Cargo Industry

The event focused on leveraging innovative technologies, integrating processes, adopting global best practices and preparing for the expected increase in demand for air cargo in the post-COVID world.
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The Air Cargo Forum India (ACFI) successfully held its Annual Conclave on 3rd May 2023 at Le Meridien Hotel, New Delhi. The success of the event was the outcome of the hard work and collective efforts put in by the ACFI Governing Board and Event Management Task Pillar members of the forum under the stellar leadership of Mr. Yashpal Sharma, ACFI President, along with the support from Mr. Satish Lakkaraju, Chairman ACFI Event Management Task Pillar and Global Head of Air Freight, WIZ Freight.

ACFI Lamp lighting
ACFI Annual Conclave 2023 Accelerates the Pace of Change in Indian Air Cargo Industry 1

The event was graced by the presence of senior Govt. Officials as Guests of Honour, including Ms. Jivisha Joshi, Deputy Secretary – DPIIT (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry), Ms. Divya Satija, senior leader – DPIIT Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry) and Mr. Piyush Srivastava – Senior Economic Advisor, Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The theme for ACFI 2023 was “Cargo Udaan- Connecting and Empowering Indian Skies,” with a focus on leveraging innovative technologies, integrating processes, adopting global best practices and preparing for the expected increase in demand for air cargo in the post-COVID world.

The event brought together the entire Governing Board of ACFI, Past Presidents of the forum, alongside various stakeholders in the air cargo logistics and supply chain trade, including senior Govt. dignitaries, airlines, airport operators, cargo terminal operators, freight forwarders, sales agents, other trade associations and express industry professionals.

Session ACFI
ACFI Annual Conclave 2023 Accelerates the Pace of Change in Indian Air Cargo Industry 2

The conclave covered three business sessions that highlighted the various possibilities, opportunities, challenges and action items for the Indian skies to reach 10 million tons by 2030-31. The sessions emphasized on key topics – “AIR CARGO – The Business Galvanizer,” “INTERNATIONAL AIR CARGO – Opportunities and Challenges,” and “DOMESTIC AIR CARGO – Leveraging the Potential of Indian Domestic Cargo.” These were moderated by senior leaders like Mr. Satish Lakkaraju, Chairman – Event management Task Pillar and Global Head of Air Freight, WIZ Freight, Mr. Sanjiv Edward, Vice President ACFI & CEO – Cargo and Logistics, GMR Group along with Mr. Keku Bomi Gazder, ACFI Governing Board Member, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Aviapro Logistic Services Pvt. Ltd.

The ACFI Annual Conclave 2023 also featured a strong line-up of eminent speakers, including Mr. Glyn Hughes, Director General of TIACA, Dr. Sudhanshu, Secretary (APEDA), Mr. Pradeep Panicker, President & Chief Executive Officer, GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited, Ms. Sadhika Kumar, Chief Operating Officer, Lynkit Solutions Private Limited, Mr. Kunal Bhatt, Consultant Cargo, Commercial, TATA Air India, Mr. Vipul Bhalla, Chief Business Officer, Pradhaan Air Express, Mr. Mark Sutch, Chief Commercial Officer – Cargo (International), IndiGo (InterGlobe Aviation Limited), Mr. Ramesh Mamidala, Head Cargo Commercial, Air India Limited, Mr. Arun Chandra, Assistant Vice President – Aviation Business, Bangalore International Airport Limited, Mr. Ravi Prakash Mathur, Vice President and Global Head of Logistics and Supply Chain Excellence, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Limited, Mr. Ajith Pai, Chief Operating Officer, Delhivery Pvt. Ltd and Mr. Kamal Hingorani, Chief Officer – Cargo, SpiceJet Ltd.

During the conclave Mr. Piyush Srivastava – Senior Economic Advisor, Ministry of Civil Aviation stated, ‘’India is poised to take its position as 3rd largest aviation market, especially in the cargo sphere. We are just coming out of the storm of Covid, when we were hit by the ATF prices; we are trying to bring down the VAT. So far we have succeeded in 17 states and the journey is on to successfully cover other states. MoCA is bullish on creation of Transshipment Hubs which will depend on Global economic scenario and how the aviation sector works. But it’s an exogenous factor. There is need for many such hubs, including international ones, owing to India’s size and dimensions.

Krishi Udaan has a bearing on Cargo for perishable commodities, especially in the Northeast but now we have expanded this to 58 other airports. Freighters can deeply benefit from this. I would urge all stakeholders of Air Cargo to take benefits of Krishi Udaan scheme.

Lastly I would urge all pillars of ACFI to test their objectives on the teststones of doability and desirability, and then prioritize your short term, medium and long term goals to succeed in times to come. I wish the association good wishes for their future efforts.’’

“ACFI has worked on various aspects to stimulate demand for air cargo and positioned various points that would be key for its growth. ACFI also hopes to continue its efforts to accelerate the pace of change and position India’s logistics landscape as a global leader in the air cargo industry,” said Mr. Yashpal Sharma – President ACFI and MD Skyways Group.

Mr. Sharma emphasized that the Air Cargo has the power to galvanize businesses across globe and prompted the shippers to put Air Cargo at the fore front of their transportation needs.

‘’The conclave brought together some of the best minds in the Indian air cargo industry and addressed the most critical challenges and opportunities in the market. ACFI as a forum aims to work on the strengths of the air freight industry, managing the nuances of international air cargo and leveraging the potential of domestic air cargo,’’ commented Mr. Satish Lakkaraju, Chairman – ACFI Event Management Task Pillar and Global Head of Air Freight, WIZ Freight.

The conference highlighted the need for India to build and improve its current infrastructure, connect Indian airports to shippers through modern highways and local connectivity, integrate different modes of transport, adopt innovative technologies, simplify regulations and invest in skill development.

ACFI Annual Conclave 2023 was a resounding success and provided a platform for various stakeholders to come together, share their experiences, and collaborate to drive the growth of the Indian air cargo industry. ACFI Conclave 2023 was an essential step towards connecting and empowering Indian skies to become a significant player in the global air cargo industry. The event also provided a platform for stakeholders to network, collaborate and explore new business opportunities.

About ACFI

Air Cargo Forum India (ACFI) is an association of various stakeholders of Air Cargo Logistic Supply Chain Trade and Industry. It was established on 14th September 2012, with the aim to promote and develop the Air Cargo Logistics Industry in India.

“The Air Cargo Forum India (ACFI) envisages to build world class environment friendly air logistics industry by innovation, allied action with credibility and providing business facilitation to boost the Indian economy.” ACFI is a common platform for all stakeholders in the air cargo sector who can collaborate to address major industry challenges. This prestigious body consists of stakeholders from across the industry including Airlines, Airport Operators, Cargo Terminal Operators, Courier and Express Operators, Custom Brokers, Freight Forwarders, Bonded Truck Operators, General Sales Agents, Trade Associations, Integrators and Domestic Cargo Operators, etc.

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