The Air Cargo Forum of India (ACFI) is set to hold its annual conclave on May 3, 2023, at Le Meridian, New Delhi. Apace Digital Cargo attended the curtain raiser and press conference for the event, where industry experts discussed the theme of the summit – “Cargo Udaan: Connecting and Empowering the Indian Skies.

The event was hosted by Sakshi Gupta, Country Manager – India, Air Logistics Group, and a member of ACFI, along with the welcome address that was given by her as well. Yashpal Sharma, the President of ACFI, also addressed the audience, highlighting the organization’s open-door policy for collaborations and shared some of the initiatives undertaken by ACFI. He spoke about the objectives of the organization, which includes bringing everyone in the industry together and taking the industry forward.

K.S. Kunwar, Director General, ACFI, discussed the advent of the ACFI and its vision of building a world-class, environmentally friendly air logistics industry. He shared the objectives of ACFI, including promoting and growing the Indian Air Cargo industry to the best global standards, engaging closely with the Ministry of Civil Aviation to achieve the goal of taking Indian airspace to 10MMT by 2030-31, and promoting cooperation with other cargo and industry associations for taking up common issues of interest. Mr. Kunwar then discussed the task force pillars & subgroups established by ACFI, which include policy advocacy, process simplification, skill development, knowledge and research, event management, digital automation, go-green, and branding India air cargo.

Satish Lakkaraju, who set the context for the event, highlighted the benefits of air cargo, which includes reliability, speed, flexibility, global reach and network, time sensitivity, visibility, and customized solutions. He also shared the value that air cargo adds to the economy, including an expected growth rate of 4.5% from 2021 to 2026, 6% more trade for countries with 1% better air cargo connectivity, and air cargo transporting USD $6 trillion in the value of goods. Mr. Lakkaraju also emphasized the significance of air cargo in global trade, representing 35% of trade by value but less than 1% of trade by volume.

The first session in the ACFI Annual Conclave, “Air Cargo: The Business Galvanizer,” will be moderated by Satish Lakkaraju. Panelists will share their experiences and insights on how air cargo is transforming businesses, and the challenges and opportunities that come with it.

The second session, “International Air Cargo: Opportunities and Challenges,” will be moderated by Sanjiv Edward, Vice President of ACFI & CEO- Cargo & Logistics, GMR Group. The session will explore the global air cargo industry and the trends and opportunities it presents for Indian businesses.

The third and last session, “Domestic Air Cargo: Leveraging the Potential of Indian Domestic Cargo,” will be moderated by Keku Bomi Gazder, Managing Director and CEO of Aviapro Logistics Services and Governing Board Member of ACFI. The session will focus on the potential of the domestic air cargo industry in India and the ways in which businesses can leverage it for growth and development.