New Policy Will Boost Import-export Business

We are happy that the government is seriously considering our request and is supporting the betterment and upliftment of the trade, wherever possible, says M. Afzal Malbarwala, President, Air Cargo Agents Association of India (ACAAI).

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New Policy Will Boost Import-export Business
M. Afzal Malbarwala President, Air Cargo Agents Association of India (ACAAI)

The leading recognised national association for the Aviation Cargo sector in India is ACAAI. By giving its members expert advice and assistance on pertinent issues affecting them and the industry, ACAAI works to protect and advance the interests of its members. The Air Cargo industry in India is supported by ACAAI in terms of its expansion, development, and professionalism. The Association acts as a frequent conduit for communication between members and their principals, the airlines, their clients, exporters, importers, and other government agencies.

What do you think the future holds for Air Cargo given that the pandemic is almost over? Will it continue to develop at the same rate as during the pandemic, or will it slow down?

We anticipate that Air Cargo will keep growing. The market is stabilising as a result of the post-pandemic restoration of operations, which is practically back to normal. However, there may be corrections (%) in the volume growth. Despite prospective market recession warnings, we think there are new emerging markets, particularly in the Latin American and African regions, that will support consistent growth rates as the production environment gets better. The crucial factor, however, would be intermodal transport’s effective positioning as connectivity and transhipment among ocean-air transport modalities. Along with improvements in ocean and air transportation infrastructure, the Indian subcontinent is focusing on strengthening rail and road connectivity.

During the various lockdowns, air freight was critical in supplying basic goods around the world. Do you believe that the post-pandemic tonnage has been affected in any way?

 As nations endeavoured to stockpile food and other important goods, Air Cargo played a crucial role in bridging the gap left by the shortage of inventories and vessel space constraints in ocean freight. However, the cost of Air Cargo rose dramatically. Following the pandemic, both export and import air freight volumes are stabilising. Despite the extent of the production ramp-up in developing nations, we continue to observe sporadic surges in particular sectors. As business has triumphantly exited the gloomy epidemic days, there is a widespread sense of optimism.

 What do you expect from the government in terms of facilitating and enhancing the efficiency of Air Cargo as an association?

As you are aware, ACAAI has been around for 52 years. It has been closely collaborating with the government, operators, airlines, and related organisations to address the varied needs, changes, and requirements of freight forwarders for the industry’s operation and expansion. We have been actively involved in discussions on many different issues with several governmental agencies. We are pleased that the government is carefully examining our request and is working to improve and elevate the industry wherever it can. We are confident that the government’s upcoming new logistics policy will be advantageous to industry and the expansion of exports and imports.

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