Capitalize on capacity to become global cargo hub

As things are going back to normalcy, the main concern is to remain the most preferred mode of transportation. The industry is witnessing more capacity in passenger aircraft, post pandemic, says Ashish Asaf, Group Managing Director, S.A Consultants & Forwarders.

CT Bureau

What is your vision 2030 for global air cargo sector. What are going to be the key growth drivers of air cargo in 2022 and beyond?

Moving towards the decarbonization air transport sector shall be the priority as we track towards 2030, hence capacity disruptions and cost increases are bound to happen during this period. Hence there could be an extra demand for space, while older aircrafts and engines go for scrapping or an engine refit to meet the goals related to emission reduction.

Air freight demand will be offset by the near and medium-term challenges posed by a host of challenges like inflation, reduced purchasing power, consumption pattens and as well the geopolitical issues in Europe. During this time probable incremental volumes can arise due to increase in the e-commerce segment from certain Southeast Asian countries as well from the probable disruptions in the ocean freight due to port congestion or lockdowns.

What are the crucial areas of concern now?

The air cargo sector has shown resilience, adaptability, and strength; many innovations took place, and several commodities were added in the air cargo basket which were being transported by ocean earlier. India stood tall in producing and exporting the vaccine and air cargo industry played the role of pandemic frontline warrior. Many lessons were learnt; when almost all the supply chains got disrupted, air cargo has proven itself as the only surviving mode of transport.

However, as things are going back to the normal pace, the main concern is to remain the most preferred mode of transportation. The industry is witnessing more capacity in passenger aircraft, post COVID. Even the e-commerce demand has declined from the airfreight perspective. It seems like golden period is coming to an end; there is no demand and is expected to remain slow for another one and a half years.

Apart from a leading forwarder status and offering competitive pricing, what is that one thing which makes your different from others?

We call ourselves as India’s leading neutral wholesale freight forwarder. We believe in growing together and aim to empower emerging airfreight forwarders by proposing them competitive prices and pan-India presence. This would possibly help developing innovative business models that will improve customer experience and operational efficiencies. We provide services exclusively to freight forwarders, custom brokers, courier agents and food product exporters. We maintain zero interest in value unit (cargo) with an aim to protect our customers and not compete against them. By maintaining zero interest in the value unit, we are giving access to great rates and services and no risk of ‘back selling’ which means we are not a threat to any freight forwarder.

Take us through the services and offerings of S A Group?

We can proudly say that our two-decade old company is country’s leading neutral wholesale freight forwarder. We move everything. There is no such commodity that we do not move across the world, be it pharmaceuticals, live animals, perishables, dangerous goods, apparel, handicrafts, automobile parts, general cargo, among others. We are India’s leading neutral wholesale airfreight forwarding company facilitating shipments via air and offering tailor-made packages for one’s forwarding needs.

Once your cargo is in our hands, all the documentation is being done by us. Our experienced professionals have the requisite skills to offer seamless custom clearance process right from verifying the documents to handing over the shipment to airline.

Under our air cargo charter service, we facilitate the shipment of heavy and outsize items that cannot be loaded onto scheduled services and requires critical precision to propose the most suitable solution. From small jets to large freighters, we have an infrastructure to send any outsize cargo anywhere in the world and within the deadline. We are providing tailor-made solutions to all over dimensional cargo requirements.

Last but not the least, we also offer air export consolidation service to various destinations. Taking advantage of reduced rates, adequate capacity, and reliable schedules, we enable our clients to plan their consolidated shipments accurately. Individual consignments can get assembled at our origin warehouse and built onto aircraft units. We ensure that consolidated airfreight consignments are handled safely and loaded securely, to avoid the risk of damage or loss. We are now exclusive partner of Aero Africa for air export consolidation and now able to offer neutral scheduled consolidation with competitive rates from seven India gateways to Johannesburg, South Africa. The services include 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.

Would you like to share the company’s short-term or long-term goals?

We aim to become country’s wholesale partner of choice. And to achieve this, we are continuously expanding our network. Over the years, we have built a strong relationship with air cargo carriers with whom we are serving one’s forwarding need across the world at any point of time.