has a secret and it’s connected to her garments. Not many people know that a wide variety of Victoria’s Secret undergarments
are made in the port city of Visakhapatnam in the state of Andhra Pradesh
in south India.
In addition to VS, there’s Pink, Calvin
Klein, and Marks & Spencer.
In fact, one of the units manufacturing
ladies’ undergarments produces the largest number of brassieres
exported from India to the U.S.
Under As Pharma Rises
However, Visakhapatnam, or Vizag as it is
known, is having a tough time sending out shipments of the undergarments
to the U.S. and Europe.
In addition to garments, the city is also
a hub for pharma products, perishables comprising fruits and vegetables,
as well as marine products.
Since the international air cargo terminal
lacks capacity and basic infrastructure—lack of temperature controlled
rooms, for example—exporters have no other option but to send their
consignments to Chennai (800 km, 15 hrs), Hyderabad (625 km, 12 hours),
or Bangalore (985 km, 19 hrs) by road.
barely six months ago, one of the other major issues facing exporters
is the lack of palletization.
This, despite the fact that the former Civil
Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapati Raju (left) inaugurated the new international
air cargo complex at the airport just last November 2017.
“Launching the terminal,” Raju
had said, “is a small beginning.
“Vizag should go on to compete with
Mumbai and Chennai in handling air cargo in view of the vast potential
of the area.”
Samir Mankad, (right) CEO and Executive
Director of GSEC, which operates and maintains the Viszag cargo complex
pointed out that though the focus was on pharma, marine, and valuable
cargo, he expected many more product groups to use the complex. The complex
is spread over an area of 674.64 sq. meters, including 120.06 sq. meters
of open space.
He also mentioned that the airport “is
starting bonded trucking from the complex to Hyderabad and Chennai airports
for international connectivity.”
so, Murali Nandakumar, Head-Logistics, Brandix India (Brandix India Apparel
City, or BIAC, a unique, integrated apparel supply chain city) managed
by Brandix Lanka in Vizag, spoke at length about the difficulties his
company faces to send shipments to the U.S. and Europe.
“Brandix sends out two kinds of shipments:
LCL and air shipments via Chennai and Bengaluru and FCL via Vizag.
“Air and LCL shipments go to the U.S.
(primarily). FCLs go to Europe and small quantities go back to Sri Lanka
(Brandix is headquartered at Colombo),” he said.
“Our shipments are based on FOB basis
and freight is booked by the customers.
“The main challenge faced specifically
by Brandix,” according to Nandakumar is “none other than the
distance between Vizag and Chennai or Bengaluru.”
He also mentioned that “talks are
on with customers to route shipments via Visakhapatnam.”
As for the cargo terminal that was in operation
at Vizag airport, he said, “it is not sufficient to serve our requirement
of an average of 20-25 tons/week.”
Today, while SriLankan Airlines and Silk
Air are the two international carriers touching Vizag, in addition to
Air India flights from the city to Dubai, there is very little movement
As Nandakumar pointed out:
“SriLankan Airlines and Silk Air are
servicing for smaller tonnages (1-1.5 tons).”
In such a situation, exporters said that
there was an urgent need for a widebody freighter service—at least
on a weekly basis.
The exporters along with the local chamber
of commerce have made representations to the Ministry of Aviation and
were awaiting a response. “We are looking forward for a freighter
to further increase the usage from Visakhapatnam,” said Nandakumar.
Reports indicate that SriLankan is willing to start freighter services
to the city if it was assured a regular supply of cargo.
Fruit and vegetable exporters had a similar
Many of them received orders for mangoes,
for example, from Europe and South Korea and one of the major obstacles
they faced were the high cost of transportation.
What is more important is the fact that
the pharma producers from Vizag do most of their exports from Hyderabad
airport because of the facilities available there.
In such a situation, the government, they
felt, should provide some form of freight subsidy for exports from Vizag.
Stay tuned . . .