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Family Aid 2020
   Vol. 21 No. 46
Thursday December 8, 2022

The Case For Delhi Celebi

Kamesh Peri

     Celebi Delhi Cargo Terminal Management India Pvt Ltd, part of Celebi Aviation, is investing USD$1,83,65,115.00 (INR 150 crore) to enhance infrastructure at its facility at the Delhi airport. Celebi expects larger cargo volumes in the coming months.
     Celebi Aviation started its cargo services in 2009 when it set up the Celebi Delhi Cargo Terminal Management India Pvt, as a joint venture with Delhi International Airport Ltd.
     The terminal management has the responsibility of two cargo terminals with a combined capacity of 7,00,000 tons per annum at the Delhi airport. However, one of the terminals was non-operational since it was used specifically by Jet Airways, which stopped operations in April 2019.
     Recently, Celebi restarted the terminal after revamping it. It is now being used for cargo of the newly-launched Akasa Air. Celebi also handles the flights of Bangalore-based dedicated freighter operator QuikJet.
     Kamesh Peri, CEO, Celebi Delhi Cargo Terminal Management speaking about the investment had pointed out that the India market was of great importance to Celebi. That is why the investment was necessary. He had also said that the company would look at any opportunity that came its way . . . and “once we look at these opportunities from the point of view of operationalising it, whatever required infrastructure that comes along . . . we would be investing from our side.”
     FlyingTypers talked to Kamesh Peri about the proposed investment and the company’s future plans.

FT:  Celebi Delhi Cargo Terminal Management India recently announced an investment of INR 150 crore to bolster infrastructure at the facility? What are the expansion plans?
KP:  The Civil Aviation Ministry has set an ambitious target of growing cargo volumes to 10 million metric tons. To bolster the cargo industry’s growth, the government plans to establish 33 new domestic cargo terminals by 2024–2025, introduce ease of doing business by making processes paperless, adopt digitalization and automation, and operationalize 220 airports in the next five years.
We are very much aligned with the government’s vision and are always looking for opportunities to support the necessary infrastructure development and capacity. We will be actively participating in the process of providing ground handling and cargo handling services at the upcoming airports and cargo hubs. As for the planned investment, it is aimed at improving and augmenting our current infrastructure to meet future business requirements.

FT:  Post-pandemic, how has business been for Celebi Cargo from Delhi/India?
KP:  The industry is getting back to normal. We have seen a remarkable, strong recovery in the domestic aviation sector, and subsequently, domestic cargo capacity has also returned to pre-covid levels. International cargo capacity is still recovering and has yet to reach pre-COVID levels. Most of the international sectors are operational, but the frequency is low, and not all the airlines have managed to bounce back to their full capacity. The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has also directly affected global trade and commerce. It has resulted in high inflation and high energy costs, as well as an impact on demand from European countries. The overall recovery is steady, but the pace has slowed due to various reasons, but we are optimistic and well-equipped to handle future demand.

FT:  With high freight rates, how do you see the competitive scenario?
KP:  The year, in general has seen global airfreight rates below last year’s level and recently general rates continued their downward trend. Ocean freight is responding to the market conditions much faster than air is and is normalising faster from a rates point of view.

FT:  In such circumstances, what is the strategy of Celebi for efficient operations?
KP:  At Celebi, we would continue to invest in infrastructure, modern equipment, and technology to deliver efficient, safe and innovative solutions for the larger benefit of our stakeholders.

FT:  With most airports seeing a comprehensive change through digitalisation of operations for improved productivity, what are Celebi’s plans as far as IT is concerned? How will Celebi leverage technological advancements for growth?
KP:  We understand the importance of technology and digitisation in the logistics and aviation industries. The digitisation of manual processes brings transparency, increases efficiency, and saves time. We recently replaced the manual cargo declaration process with Electronic Shippers Declaration (EDS). Similarly, we will embrace advanced digitisation wherever possible to deliver seamless customer service. We improved the features of our warehouse management system, increased security to ensure the safety and integrity of the information, and will be looking at technologies such as blockchain, IoT, and artificial intelligence in the future to improve the overall efficiency and productivity of the operations. We will also be focusing on promoting the cargo community system so that airlines, airports, shippers, freight forwarders, and various other stakeholder groups in the cargo community can have a seamless exchange of information.

FT:  Would you like the government to boost its role and take more initiatives to boost cargo from the country?
KP:  The government is really keen to boost the growth of Indian cargo and the overall logistics industry. The Aviation Ministry has set up various advisories to look at industry-specific challenges and solutions, including one for cargo. Policymakers and industry stakeholders constantly work together to create a robust and resilient ecosystem. We welcome these positive initiatives taken by the government to augment the growth of Indian aviation.
When Indian aviation is poised to become the third largest market by 2024, industry and policymakers must work closely and gradually build the capacity to address future demand without compromising the quality of services.

FT:  What challenges do you see in operations for the cargo industry?
KP:  The most unexpected challenge was the lockdown imposed all over the world during the pandemic. Despite all the restrictions and strictly controlled human movements, the aviation cargo industry emerged as a saviour for society and played a crucial role in transporting medicines, vaccines, and medical equipment across the globe and keeping the supply chains operational. The operations of cargo are dependent on many factors, and some of the factors are beyond our control. The current Russia–Ukraine war and China’s strict COVID prevention measures have affected the international supply chain and passenger and cargo movements. Global peace and harmony are the basic necessities for healthy economic growth to support certainty and stability, which in turn boosts the entire trade and cargo industries.

FT:  What are Celebi’s views about the future of the cargo industry in India?
KP:  We are very optimistic and bullish about Indian aviation and the cargo sector. The National Logistic Policy 2022 will bring transparency, efficiency, and overall ease of doing business to our logistics industry. Any growing industry has its challenges; similarly, we will also face challenges while transitioning from traditional, unorganised ways to formal system-enabled, process-oriented operations. With the government’s support and the collective efforts of industry stakeholders, the future of the Indian cargo industry is bright and cargo will play its part in supporting national economic growth goals.
Tirthankar Ghosh

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