The second day of 46th Annual ACAAI Convention began with the first session on 

“AIR CARGO AND THE PANDEMIC – A RETROSPECTIVE”. The session was chaired by Sunil Arora, Immediate Past President & Member, Board of Advisors, ACAAI with Mr Tushar Jani, Chairman, Cargo Service Centre India; Ashish Asaf, Managing Director, SA Consultants & Forwarders; Ramesh Mamidala, Chief Cargo Officer, Adani Airport Holdings; Halit Tuncer, Cargo Director – South Asia, Turkish Cargo on the dais, who all took everyone back to the tough times how the industry handled the medical supplies and vaccines supplies, what challenges were faced and how proudly the industry stands today with a bright forecast. 

“A for agility, I for innovation and R for resilience,” stated Jani, adding, “Air cargo is going to be at the forefront and the freighter market  is going to increase 27pc in the next 2 years.“ While Mamidala mentioned about tough times and said, “With the committed and efficient people on the job, domestic cargo was handled in 7-8 minutes and international in 20 minutes during the pandemic times.” Ashish Asaf, Managing Director, SA Consultants & Forwarders narrated the tough times and how his team supported and helped handling the cargo during the COVID times. Therefore, he stressed upon ‘empathy’. Halit Tuncer, Cargo Director – South Asia, Turkish Cargo presented the airline perspective and Nitithorn Sukmanus, Chairman, Thai Airfreight Forwarders Association (TAFA) took us through a journey of TAFA and the Thai air freight market. 

Integrated supply chain solutions help to reduce costs and save time. The second business session focussed on the “Powerful Combination of Air & Sea”. The session on LEVERAGING THE POWER OF THE SEAS was chaired by Tej Contractor, FFFAI Executive Committee Member & President of IIFF. The dais witnessed the veterans not only from the industry but the representatives of the associations of the industry. Capt. Dinesh Gautama, Senior President, Sharp Logistics; Makarand Pradhan, Chairman, Consolidators Association of India (CAI); Umesh Grover, Secretary General, Container Freight Station Association of India (CFSAI); and, Shankar Shinde, Chairman, Federation of Freight Forwarders Association of India (FFFAI). The session focussed on ocean freight, challenges, customs, container freight stations, consolidation, joining efforts of the associations towards seamless transportation, government initiatives, and sustainability. 

“TOUGH TIME NEVER LASTS, TOUGH PEOPLE DO- THE PANDEMIC WAR” – the panel discussion was chaired by Samir Shah, Hon. Secretary General, ACAAI and had Huned Gandhi, Managing Director, Dachser India: Vipin Vohra, Chairman, Continental Carriers Pvt Ltd: Manoj Singh, Senior VP and Head – Cargo & Express, MIAL Adani Airports; and Karrianne, Cluster Director of Sales and Marketing, Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park on the dais, who shared experiences of challenging times during the pandemic times and how the PEOPLE being warriors at the forefront handled the medical shipments and vaccine shipments. 

Logistics was the challenge but the people made it happen. Gandhi focussed on sustainability which comes with people, systems and faceless process. Vohra said, “Working together is vital to make this country grow because the country is first.” Manoj Singh believed in the survival of the fittest, empowerment and encouragement of the people. Karrianne shared the hospitality experience which bound them to focus on the domestic market. 

Post lunch, energy and zeal was the same as in the morning sessions, when all the young and dynamic veterans of the industry gathered at the dais for the next session on “MANTRA FOR SUCCESS – WORDS OF WISDOM”. Chaired by one of the senior leaders of the industry, Capt. Dinesh Gautama, Sr. President, Sharp Logistics, the session witnessed the participation from Yashpal Sharma, Managing Director, Skyways Air Services; Ashish Asaf, S A. Consultants & Forwarders; Vineet Agarwal, Ryal Logistics; Vikram Kumar, CTC Air Carriers; Narendra Wadhwa, Pelican Air; and, Fardeen Malbarwala, Galaxy Freight. 

Where there is a woman, there is magic!! And the magic was created at the ACAAI Convention 2022 when the last session of the day — Women in Logistics Session with Women of Logistics, took place, chaired by Chaitaly Mehta, Member, Managing Committee, ACAAI. The panellists include Sakshi Gupta, Pacific Air Logistics;  Latha Prakash, Broekman Logistics; Reena Plakal, Aerosail Services; Kavita Iyer, Aahana Solutions; Phoram Sampat, EKF Global; and, Anupama Kachhap, WFS. It has been observed that women have brought about change in perspective and are changing the face of the logistics industry. Women are playing crucial roles in the industry by undertaking various initiatives that foster growth to create sustainable environmental policies while at the helm. Women participation at the ACAAI Convention 2022 is quite visible and laudable. 

Last but not the least, the last session of the day was centred around technology and digitalisation in the air cargo sector. Parvinder Singh, Carico Systems Pvt Ltd addressed the gathering on ”ASSIMILATING THE TECHNOLOGY – THE CRITICAL NEED”.