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   Vol. 16 No. 60
Friday July 28, 2017

AFS Action For India
     In a move to boost foreign trade, the Indian government is encouraging establishing Air Freight Stations (AFS) and Container Freight Stations (CFS) and is accepting online applications. 
      The AFS and CFS move ushers in “services for handling and temporary storage of import/export laden and empty containers carried under customs control.”

Expanding AFS Capabilities

      “Transshipment of cargo can also take place from such stations,” according to officials involved with the facilitation of the online system.
      The AFS concept would be like a container freight station (CFS) found in any port. The off-airport AFS would receive the cargo ULDs after they are off-loaded from an aircraft.
      De-stuffing would take place at the AFS, where customers would be able to receive their shipments instead of going through the whole process at the airport cargo terminal.
      For exports, the reverse process would be followed with Customs clearing the cargo at the AFS.
      The ULDs could then be moved to the airport for clearance and onward journey.
      The move is in conjunction with the establishment of the Dedicated Freight Corridors in the country and the huge Sagarmala Program on port-linked development. Comprising 415 projects, the Sagarmala Program will modernize ports, build new ones, boost port connectivity, etc. by 2035.

Air Cargo Needs Speed

      Air cargo stakeholders have been demanding the establishment of AFSs since 2007. These off-airport freight stations are desperately needed not only to ensure cargo clearance in the shortest possible time, but also to lessen the traffic congestion at major airports.
Tirthankar Ghosh

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