The annual event of Air Cargo Forum India (ACFI) took place yesterday at Hotel Le Meridian with the theme “10 Million: Vision 2030 – Stimulating, Scaling, Steering Air Cargo”. The annual event which took place after a hiatus of two years due to pandemic situation, witnessed a huge participation from government to all the veterans of the industry. Union Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya M Scindia marked his presence as Chief Guest. 

Following the lighting of lamp, Arvind Aggarwal, Chairman, ACFI gave an opening address. Cyrus Katgara, President, ACFI addressed the gathering, mentioning key developments in the air cargo sector, initiatives taken by the government. Highlighting the achievement of the cargo sector, the minister said, “Air Cargo had started as an underdog during the difficult Covid times but the industry was able to adapt and change to the new environment. During the times of Covid, we have rapidly expanded from having 7 Cargo Freighters to 28 Cargo Freighters in a short period of 3 years.”

Talking about the reforms in Cargo Sector, he said, “To achieve the target of 10 million metric ton in cargo, the industry players need to focus on transportation of smaller cargo loads from Tier II & III cities to metros which can be achieved by acquisition of smaller size aircrafts. To facilitate this, we are also establishing 33 new domestic cargo terminals by 2024-2025 which will allow our cargo sector to flourish and grow. We need to work on ease of doing business in cargo sector by making processes paperless, adapting automation, digitalization which can make cargo processing swift.” Ministry of Civil Aviation will be spending close to INR 98,000 crores over 4 years in terms of setting up new greenfield airports and expansion of existing brownfield airports.

Other dignitaries who graced the event were Piyush Srivastava, Senior Economic Advisor, Ministry of Civil Aviation; Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog (Video Address). 

Yashpal Sharma, Vice President, ACFI concluded the inaugural session with a vote of thanks. 

The interactive and insightful business sessions began with “The Power of Industry – Sectoral drivers of growth” session, moderated by Vipul Bhalla, Immediate Past Chairman, BAR India Cargo (NR). Dr MJ Khan, Chairman, Indian Chamber of Food and Agriculture; Dr Ravi Prakash Mathur, VP, Supply Chain Management, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories: Saurav Khurana, Amazon India; Anoop Thatai, Mentor, FA-Home; and Edwin Jesudass, GM Customs & Logistics (Import & Export), Siemens India – were speakers in this session. 

The next session was on Air Cargo Deliverables, moderated by Sanjiv Edward, CCO, DIAL. The speakers were Atul Singh, Additional Director, ICEGATE, Director General – System, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs; Kamesh Peri, CEO, Celebi Delhi Cargo Terminal; Ramesh Mamidala, Chief Cargo Officer, Adani Airports Holdings Limited (virtually) and Satish Lakkaraju, Senior VP, Wiz Freight. 

Yashpal Sharma, Managing Director, Skyways Group moderated the last session on “Growth in the altered Landscape”, in which Dr Vasudevan, Partner and Global Sector Lead (Airports), KPMG India; Camilo Garcia Cervera, Global VP Business Development, Webcargo by Freightos (virtually); Keku Gazder, Managing Director and CEO Aviapro Logistics (GSSA Vistara); Motilal Sethi, Chairman, Saroj International Group and Manoj Singh, Senior VP and Head Cargo, Mumbai airport – were the speakers.

To conclude the event, ACFI trainers and sponsors were felicitated in the end.