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   Vol. 16 No. 85
Tuesday October 24, 2017

Perishables Forward India Gateways
Perishables Forward India Gateways

      The recent launch of the ‘AISATS Cargo’ mobile app by Air India SATS Airport Services (AISATS), with its facilities located at the Bengaluru International Airport (KIA), marked one more milestone in the move towards boosting the pharma and perishable exports from the country.
      Over the last few years, major airports in the country—especially the ones run by private operators—have focused on pharmaceutical and perishable exports.


Bengaluru Versus Hyderabad

      The Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports (the first run by GVK and the second by GMR) have upped their game to become the focal point for air cargo in the region.
      Barely an hour’s flight away from each other, the two airports have been vying with each other to become cargo gateways of the south of India.


Tirupur To Bengaluru

Knitting A Success

      Some time ago, for example, Bengaluru Airport, in collaboration with its cargo partners Menzies Aviation Bobba Bangalore and AISATS, successfully completed a three-month run of its bonded trucking service from Tirupur (320 km by road from Bangalore)—well known as the Knitwear Capital of India—to the airport. Part of an ambitious project, the Knitwork Connect BLR was started in April this year with the aim of speeding up international trade from the airport.


Wild About Hari

Hari Marar      Bangalore Airport Operations President Hari Marar supplied the reason behind pushing cargo:
      “Our cargo business,” he said, “has seen phenomenal growth in the past year.
      “To sustain momentum in the long term, we are committed to creating a robust ecosystem that supports and propels the growth of not just Karnataka (the state), but the entire South Indian region in the global cargo supply chain.”
      The project looked at how to facilitate connectivity between Tirupur and Bengaluru.
      “Exporters from Tirupur can now send their consignments directly to the airport by road. While the consignments move to the airport on a dedicated road, the truck docks that are used have been specially built for a quick turnaround.”
      The Tirupur exporters have started saving approximately 20 hours in the overall transit cycle.
      Plans are being chalked out to connect to other textile and automotive manufacturing centers like Coimbatore (365 km away), Vaniyambadi (150 km), and Ambur (160 km).


Keep On Truckin’

      Marar pointed out that trucking cargo between Tirupur and Bengaluru will form “a critical part of the Airport’s cargo operation.”
      The airport has seen 200 metric tons of garments from Tirupur being sent out through Bengaluru airport in 60 days in 55 trucks.
      “The exports were to Los Angeles, Nantes, Warsaw, Frankfurt, Lagos, Milan, Marseille, Atlanta, Oslo, Brussels, and Zurich.
      “Since the airport had the geographical advantage of being strategically positioned in the heart of South India, we have the opportunity to be the single gateway for cargo traffic and shippers aspiring to reach this fast-growing region.”
      “The road feeder network is a part of the airport’s overall cargo strategy,” Marar emphasized.
      “We aim to be the South Indian Cargo Gateway to Global Economies’ and the Knitwork Connect BLR is one of the many steps in that direction.”


Coolport Is Too Cool

      “Garments and automotive parts notwithstanding, the airport has witnessed a steady increase in perishable cargo volume, with a CAGR of 15 percent.
      “With handling capacity of 40,000 tons of cargo per annum, the Air India SATS Coolport has been catering to a wide range of perishable commodities such as pharmaceutical products, fruits, vegetables, poultry, seafood and flowers.”


Chew On Cool

      AISATS CEO Mike Chew said that the “dedicated facility would play a vital role in supporting better trade facilitation, and boost exports and imports of temperature sensitive products.”
      The facility was aimed to turn the state into a preferred air cargo hub of South India.

Hyderabad Pharma Zone

Hyderabad Cool End To End

      Only 570-odd km away from Bengaluru, the GMR Hyderabad airport is on a similar move.
      The first airport in the country to introduce an end-to-end temperature-controlled terminal, the Pharma Zone, Hyderabad’s major share of cargo (around 60 percent) is composed of pharma products.
      The Pharma Zone claims to be the first and only facility of its kind in the country to address the challenges involved in a shipment’s journey from the shipper’s location to the cargo hold of the aircrafts. The airport has inducted the best-in-class active and passive cooling storage mechanisms in partnership with Envirotainer and Agility.
      The facility’s popularity with shippers is apparent.


Hub Envirotainer

      Over the last five years, pharma cargo from Hyderabad has seen a CAGR of 10 percent. In addition, while Customs has permitted the movement of refrigerated ‘Cool Containers’ directly to and from the premises of customers, Envirotainer has chosen the airport as the regional hub for distribution of their products in India. 
      Now in its tenth year of operations, the airport has worked out detailed plans to become a hub airport for southern and central India.
      The airport has targeted 15 cities for its ‘Fly via Hyderabad’ campaign.
      The idea is to become a transit hub in the next five to ten years, according to CEO SGK Kishore.
      “This will be done not only for passengers,” Kishore said, “but also for cargo by focusing on the location and the multi-modal connectivity that the airport provides.
      “While moves are on to set up dry ports near the airport to facilitate air-to-sea and sea-to-air cargo links, we are also keen to develop a Pack House for pre-processing perishable cargo according to EU and U.S. norms,” he concluded.
Tirthankar Ghosh

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