The 8th edition of Air Cargo India, organised by MesseMunchen India, began yesterday with great fervor at Grand Hyatt in Mumbai, offering industry stakeholders three days of knowledge sharing, informed opinions and business opportunities. Vandana Aggarwal (IES), Ministry of Civil Aviation inaugurated the exhibition and took a stroll around the elegant booths. The conference started off with a welcome note by Gerhard Gerritzen, deputy managing director Messe Muenchen India expressed an optimistic sentiment, saying, “Air Cargo India has a lot of potential.” 

The keynote address made by Ms Aggarwal discussed the current position of the air cargo industry in India and highlighted the government initiatives –National Cargo Policy, UDAN scheme, Krishi Udan. She stressed on the government’s interest in enabling digital corridors and shared insights on technologies and innovation that need to come forth. Further, the show witnessed the first panel discussion on the theme topic – ‘State of digitalization in the Air Cargo Industry’. Eminent speakers with years of experience in the industry put forth their ideas, opinions and thoughts on the topical subject of digitalization, which is currently changing the industry gradually. 

Along with this, shippers forums on Air and Pharma focused on co-creation of Pharma supply chain standards and visibility. The forum witnessed participation of international airports and airlines like Changi airport, Brussels airport, Miami airport, Cathay Pacific, and also, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Sun Pharma. 

A discussion on perishables took place which talked about quality and compliance. ACI2020 is discussing what the perishable wants from air cargo, how to involve all stakeholders in supplychain, standardise temperature management and enable agri produce to compete in the international market.

Today morning, the day-2 began with Panel Discussions on the topics: ‘Trade Tension drag on air cargo and building resilience’ and ‘The Indian subcontinent, the most promising air cargo export region of the world’. With the ever-changing geo-political scenario in the world, these topics threw light on the impact of trade tensions on and opportunities in the air cargo industry. On the building resilience in trade disruptions and tensions, Niranjan Navratnarajah, Cargo Industry Director, Unisys Asia Pacific suggested that the industry needs a cultural change to recover from tragedies, and questioned: “Are we ‘smartly’ processing the goods?” 

On the final day, the Panel Discussion on the topic: ‘Transportation support for the digital world – building future capacity with new modes complementing the traditional’ will bring forth ideas for improving capacity by the gradual change of the traditional to the modern, with the help of a digital push. Air Cargo India is indeed a dose of optimism and new horizons for the industry and an ideal platform for knowledge exchange and networking opportunities.