Indian Air Cargo Sector: Challenges and Opportunities Ahead: Views by Vandana Singh

Air cargo logistics are critical to a country’s economic development. The key players in the entire Air cargo supply chain are airlines, Air cargo terminal operators, Ground handling service providers, Integrated express service providers, Forwarders, Domestic cargo transport service providers, and Custom house agents. As a result, the Air cargo industry includes a diverse range of service providers working together to transport goods both domestically and internationally with the goal of providing faster and more efficient delivery. In developing countries such as India, an efficient logistics infrastructure can reduce transportation costs, directly contributing to the country’s international standing. An efficient logistics industry acts as an economic catalyst by creating new market opportunities and moving goods and services rapidly.

Indian Air Cargo Sector: Challenges and Opportunities Ahead: Views by Vandana Singh


According to Vandana Singh, Director-Global Corporate Key Accounts Asia Pacific, Saudia Cargo, the Indian air cargo industry is currently one of the most competitive and growing markets in the sector. It has emerged as one of the most promising markets, and international organisations have decided to join in on the journey. Furthermore, as the market for air cargo has grown, various airlines have shifted their focus to cargo transportation in order to generate revenue and grow. One of the primary reasons that air cargo in India is regarded as having the potential for increased growth is the transformation of infrastructure, the advancement of technology, and the lower costs incurred during setup when compared to other developed countries. “The fact that the Honourable Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Road Transport, and Highways, Gen. V.K. Singh, has stated a target of 10 million metric tonnes by 2030 speaks for itself.”

The Indian air cargo industry is currently one of the most competitive and growing markets in the sector.



“The unforeseen challenge was the global pandemic, but we steered through,” Vandana says. “Looking specifically at the Indian Cargo Industry, the traditional method of tiresome and time-consuming paperwork, an uncertain tracking system for shipments, and manual errors have incurred huge costs during the process.” Furthermore, the lack of transparency has hampered growth thus far. “These can, of course, be easily reduced and dealt with, which is currently being implemented.”


“The greatest boon to the Indian Cargo Industry has been the introduction of technology, which is changing the dimensions of the Air Cargo Industry and leading to digitisation in India,” Vandana believes. Transparency and proactive information for customers about shipment status will gradually become the norm. “In terms of opportunities, the pharmaceutical industry is thriving, driving significant growth in air cargo alongside the fashion industry (garments), perishables, and time-sensitive cargo shipments.”


“The National Logistics Policy 2022 will go a long way toward helping India achieve global standards,” Vandana says. Modernising the logistics sector is not an optional action plan, especially for a country like India, which has a significant stake in international trade and a proclivity to grow further in the world order. The Indian logistics market is expected to be worth around USD 215 billion in the next two years, up from around USD 160 billion now. “As a result, the new National Logistics Policy will have a significant impact on this sector.”


“During the recently concluded seminar on Challenges and Opportunities for Air Cargo in the Decade Ahead, specifically from an International Airline Perspective,” Vandana exclaims, “the following were given as recommendations from our end:

  • This is an era in which E-Freight is required. As a result, it is critical that we go paperless.
  • At the moment, at all points (customs, clearance, delivery…everywhere paper is used). In this age of digitisation, it is critical to go paperless and incorporate cutting-edge technology while also lowering costs).
  • Ease of doing business, (processes must be simplified) at each stage.
  • Promoting shipper-to-door delivery, as seen in other countries. (The entire freight chain, from shipper to cargo handover at the airport to door delivery to the consignee.)
  • Promoting India’s pharmaceutical, perishables, and fashion industries, which are major growth drivers for the country.”

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