Air logistics vital in pharma supply chain

Logistics industry is in focus with initiatives such as Gati Shakti and Self-Reliant India. We see demand with bi-directional traffic growth. Multimodal transportation will result in savings for exporters and importers, making them more competitive, says Huned Gandhi, MD, Dachser Air & Sea Logistics India.

Ritika Arora Bhola

What is your company’s role in future air cargo and logistics, and services evolving around these concepts? Are such developments in Europe being planned for India?

We believe air and sea logistics in India will grow in the years to come. Contract logistics: warehousing and distribution is a mature business for Europe and Asia. In the next five years, we expect similar developments to take place in India. Our focus has been to provide quality services leveraging our road logistics network and standardize processes. I would like to highlight Life Science and Healthcare market in India. While Ocean freight has been garnering increasing share of Life Science logistics spends, it is evident the air logistics will be the key in the pharma supply chain in terms of value of goods shipped. It is likely to grow in the next decade; it shall remain one of the key industries for Dachser India to focus on.

Dachser´s global revenue exceeded EUR 7 billion for the first time in 2021. Please share with us growth strategies adopted by DACHSER to move ahead?

Our approach is designed based on customer expectations and maintaining high quality services in these evolving market trends. Certifications such as CEIV, AEO, ISO provide customers assurance of an expertise, quality, and compliance. Over the years, our company has been expanded to be able to provide our valued customers with seamless services across the globe. Investment of time and resources in training, development and upgrading our skills in business field solutions such as Life Science and Healthcare Logistics also ensured we can cater to the exacting and specialised service needs of valued customers.

What are the growth drivers in 2022 and beyond?

The supply chain management (SCM) technology landscape is changing rapidly, hence the capacity for technology and innovation optimizes the way firms are working to remain competitive. In the future, real-time data and its analysis will become crucial to address uneven demand fluctuations across different geographies. It will help adjust transport routing plans, along with the ability to predict and adapt to the volatile global geopolitical and supply chain situations—these will be the key drivers for sustained growth. The demand for eco-friendly products and processes will play a vital role in the demand supply model. Our climate protection initiative focusses on efficiency, innovation, and inclusive responsibility. By 2022-end, our deliveries to the city centres will be emission free. Sustainable capacity solutions, enhanced handling capabilities for specific business and the ability to motivate employees will remain important too.

Which trade lanes currently exist at Dachser Air & Sea India? What are extra ones planned for 2022 and beyond?

Being a Germany-based company, the largest trade lanes for Dachser India have been these to Europe followed by Intra-Asia and to the US. In recent times, we have seen growth in the Intra Asia markets and currently, the US trade is booming with all vessels running to full capacity. For the future, we see the US as one of the major trade lanes for our growth. The markets of Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia hold the potential and we are looking forward to exploring these markets, considering that we have offices in these countries.

May we expect to see more shippers moving freight from water carriage to air this year? What kind of commodities are most likely to shifted?

Air cargo has come a long way and with new age aircraft and technology, it has proved itself as a time and cost-effective solution for many products and continues to register growth over the years. Having said that, in sea freight the container shortage, blockages in production activities, the supply of PPE during the pandemic, pent up demand or geopolitical situations—all this led to a surge in airfreight demand. A similar situation is likely to persist at least until the SQ of 2022, though at a much lower scale. This will lead to surges in air freight demand due to a diversion from sea to air.

Could you elaborate on the strategies you are devising to enhance efficiency in the company’s business and network enhancement?

We are having a well-defined and proven quality management system. We invest in employee’s training and development, we have a structured approach to laying out standard operating process, documentation, route validation and lane assessment. Deviation, exception handling and a subcontractor management are some of the areas where we are implementing tried and tested best practices followed by our network and often customised in close collaboration with customers.

Today, the world seeks to ship to India. Where do the trade activities with India stand at this moment?

We are looking at a growth in 2022-2023 and the logistics industry is getting the right focus from the government. The Gati Shakti plan covers relevant aspects of logistics. Atma Nirbhar movement and PLI scheme will see a rise in manufacturing activities. The resultant output will also be targeted for exports to the overseas buyers seeking to diversify their sourcing. Increased production will invariably need imported inputs and raw materials. Thus, we see a demand with bi-directional traffic growth. Multimodal transportation will result in savings for exporters and importers, making them more globally.

Do you think the stakeholders are collaborating and uniting for growth?

Collaborative efforts for collective good of shippers, forwarders and carriers is always welcomed. Collective representations to government bodies for facilitation of EXIM processes, infrastructural development and trade facilitation are needed to keep up with the evolving business situations.