Embarking on an insightful exploration, we delve into the remarkable journey of S.A. Consultants & Forwarders Pvt. Ltd., led by Ashish Asaf, Group Managing Director & CEO. Since its inception in 2000, the company has evolved into India’s largest neutral wholesale freight forwarder.
Driven by innovation and a proactive approach to change, Ashish has become an ambassador for the air cargo industry, propelling the organization to unparalleled success. As SA Group continues to shape the future of freight forwarding, Ashish’s leadership remains pivotal in steering the company towards new horizons.
In light of the overall inefficiency of stocks and global capacity, it is anticipated that demand may increase during the second and third quarters. Various weather-related changes in the first quarter could contribute to price hikes and potential capacity shortages.
Uncertainties arising from instability in specific, significant regions of the world may impact relations between different countries. Consequently, there is a likelihood that the cost of fuel will rise, potentially influencing rates once more. Current geopolitical situations could determine the demand trajectory of air freight in the coming year; this could be globally from conflict-driven or poll-driven economies in 2024.
In the dynamic world of freight forwarding, where competition is fierce and innovation is key, SA Group stands tall as India’s leading neutral wholesale freight forwarder. Ranked among the top 10 IATA Indian freight forwarders, S.A. Consultants & Forwarders Pvt. Ltd. (SACFPL), has carved a niche by focusing on transparency, neutrality, and a commitment to customer protection.
SACFPL’s commitment to neutrality is evident in its mission to empower emerging air freight forwarders across India. They achieve this by providing competitive pricing and absolute transparency. To eliminate competition among clients, the company maintains zero interest in the value unit (cargo), ensuring access to favourable rates and services without the risk of ‘back selling.’ Beyond being a wholesale partner, SA Group envisions building a better world through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
Honesty and integrity form the foundation of SA Group’s success, fostering strong, trusting relationships with employees, stakeholders, and customers. Embracing the principle of ‘innovation, not limitation,’ the company encourages a culture where new ideas catalyse growth. SA Group’s impact on the freight forwarding sector surpasses conventional logistics, unfolding a story of revolutionary neutrality, transparency, and a strong commitment to social responsibility. As the company shapes India’s freight forwarding scene, its dedication to empowering enterprises and fostering a better world endures.
SACFPL stands out as India’s premier neutral wholesale freight forwarder, positioning itself as an industry leader with distinctive strengths. Committed to mutual growth, SA Group empowers both emerging and established airfreight forwarders by offering competitive prices and an extensive pan-India service portfolio.
This strategic approach fosters the development of innovative business models, enhancing customer experiences and operational efficiencies. Exclusive in their services, they cater specifically to freight forwarders, custom brokers, courier agents, and food product manufacturers. With a steadfast commitment to customer protection, SA Group maintains zero interest in the value unit (cargo), ensuring that its operations do not compete with or pose harm to its clientele. This approach, avoiding ‘back selling’ risks, reinforces their dedication to the welfare and success of their customers in the freight forwarding industry.
The rise of SA Group among India’s top 10 IATA freight forwarders is rooted in a 23-year history of growth, emphasising neutrality and integrity. These principles form the bedrock of a solid, trustworthy connection with employees, stakeholders, and customers. The company aims to become the country’s wholesale partner of choice, and to achieve this, it is continuously expanding its network. Over the years, SA Group has built a strong relationship with airlines, serving forwarding needs across the world at any point in time.
Versatile freight excellence
SA Group proudly asserts that its more-than-two-decade-old company stands as the country’s leading neutral wholesale freight forwarder. Handling a diverse range of commodities across the world, including pharmaceuticals, live animals, perishables, dangerous goods, apparel, handicrafts, automobile parts, and general cargo, the company also offers a transit warehouse facility in Delhi, situated in close proximity to the cargo terminal. As India’s premier neutral wholesale airfreight forwarding company, it facilitates shipments via air and provides tailor-made packages for various forwarding needs.
Once a client’s cargo is entrusted to SA Group, the company takes charge of all documentation. Experienced professionals with the necessary skills ensure a seamless customs clearance process, from document verification to handing over the shipment to the airline.
In SA Group’s air cargo charter service, the company facilitates the shipment of heavy and outsize items that cannot be accommodated on scheduled services, requiring critical precision. With infrastructure capable of handling small jets to large freighters, SA Group can transport outsize cargo anywhere in the world within the specified deadline. Tailor-made solutions are provided to meet all over-dimensional cargo requirements.
Lastly, they offer air export consolidation services to various destinations. Leveraging reduced rates, ample capacity, and reliable schedules, SA Group enables clients to accurately plan their consolidated shipments. Individual consignments can be assembled at SACFPL’s origin warehouse and loaded onto aircraft units. They ensure the safe handling and secure loading of consolidated air freight consignments to mitigate the risk of damage or loss. The neutral scheduled consolidation service offers competitive rates from seven India gateways to Johannesburg, South Africa, covering capacity for dangerous goods, pharmaceuticals, and perishables from BOM, DEL, -BLR, MAA, CCU, HYD, and AMD, with simplified airport-to-airport and airport-to-door services.
In the realm of logistics, optimising infrastructure, skills, and regulations is paramount. With the unveiling of the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan in 2021, Ashish Asaf firmly believes that India has secured a robust position in global trade. The master plan is poised to enhance the efficiency of physical connectivity across various transport modes while harnessing the power of technology. This master plan signifies a transformative strategy aimed at elevating economic growth, fostering infrastructure development, and ensuring timely project completion.
The significance of this lies in the collective efforts of both the government and the trade community, working tirelessly to propel India’s air cargo sector to a position of prominence worldwide. Through a conspicuous transformation in infrastructure and technological advancements, India has emerged as a pivotal player in the global expansion of the air cargo business.
Due to its well-developed airport cargo infrastructure, digital cargo handling system, and airport gateways that simplify access to global markets, India’s air cargo industry is in an excellent position for expansion. However, one aspect that Ashish aims to emphasise is whether the relevant authority can consider allowing easy utilisation of any gateway airport in the country if the exporter is registered with any one gateway airport.
This move would not only enhance the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) but also reduce delays and associated costs. It can be argued that simplified customs procedures like ONE COUNTRY, ONE REGISTRATION, and the digitization of documentation would accelerate cargo processing.
The introduction of technology has brought about a logistical transformation with faster, leaner, and more efficient operations. Despite the government continually providing considerable ease of doing business in the logistics industry, the sector is not entirely digital. Presumably, the sector should soon integrate all the systems of the stakeholders, allowing them to communicate with each other electronically. This would provide end-users with the opportunity to track the consignment until it reaches the designated final point.
Looking ahead to 2024, Ashish envisions a transformative shift in air cargo trends, placing a spotlight on sustainability. He foresees a move towards Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to make the sector more environmentally friendly. Despite the higher cost of SAF compared to conventional fuel, this transition may increase freight charges. Ashish predicts a gradual rise in air cargo efficiency as SAF utilisation reduces CO2 emissions, potentially materialising by the year’s end.