A recent movement of air cargo carrying readymade garments from Dhaka to Manchester using the newly-launched Transshipment Excellence Centre (TEC) at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi is being seen as by the air cargo community as a boost to Bangladesh’s exporters.
Since the Bangladesh Biman began flight operations to Delhi in July this year, it has been observed that the Delhi airport can be easily used by Bangladesh exporters for getting assured reconnect of transshipment cargo between 45 minutes and six hours to Europe and the US, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) officials said.
The use of Delhi as the transshipment hub by Bangladesh exporters would result in a reduction of both freight cost and time as compared to Dubai, according to the officials Sanjiv Edward, Chief Commercial Officer, Delhi International Airport Limited, said “the TEC at Delhi airport will contribute significantly in promoting Bangladesh’s textile and retail industry leveraging to carry and connect voluminous air cargo across the world.
“With steep rise in demands due to change of trend in fashion market in first world countries, there was an emergent need of this transshipment hub to fast connect Bangladesh to rest of the world catering to the demand of textile/readymade garments,” he said. Delhi airport provides maximum airline connectivity to the globe among all the Indian airports serving around 145 destinations. Since Bangladesh has no direct flights to various ports in Europe and US, Delhi airport will serve as a transshipment hub providing tremendous opportunity and connectivity to cargo originating in Bangladesh, Edward said.
With the objective of making the GMR Group-run Delhi airport as a transshipment hub in South Asia, the TEC facility has been created in an area covering 6,500 sqm with round-the-clock operation providing smooth and fast movement of transshipment cargo. “It is a unique and well-integrated facility created at the airside of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) equipped with all the required infrastructure and cargo handling equipment” the officials said.
The TEC at the Delhi airport is the first of its kind of facility created at any Indian airport and is considered as key enabler for faster movement of transshipment cargo. This initiative has been taken by Delhi International Airport Limited [DIAL] as per the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA)-National Air Cargo Policy Outline, 2019 to develop air cargo transshipment hub at major airports of India. Delhi is the first airport to take lead and has set-up dedicated Transshipment facility at the airside.
The Indian customs authorities have given their clearances to DIAL to operationalize dedicated transshipment centre at IGIA and charted out the standing operating procedure for handling transshipment cargo. This will simplify and expedite the procedure for transfer of transshipment cargo.
Commenting on the facility at the Delhi airport, Sunil Arora of Cargo Partner said: “I congratulate DIAL management and the team for supporting Cargo Partner in this new venture and making it a grand success. The entire procedure of transshipment was flawless, DIAL, Custodians and the customs extended full cooperation. It has been decided to use the route extensively.”
A DIAL spokesperson said “we are happy to participate in fulfilling the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s vision of creating Air Cargo Hub in India. TEC will not only provide a new momentum to the efficient movement of transshipment air cargo but it will also contribute significantly in promoting Delhi airport as air cargo hub of the South Asian region and an air cargo gateway to the world.”
Delhi has India’s largest and busiest airport having two state-of-art cargo terminals to handle all types of cargo, such as textile, retail, electronics, perishable, pharma, project cargo and live stocks. Delhi airport has a cargo handling capacity of over 1.8 million tonnes annually, which is scalable to 2.3 million tonnes.
In financial year 2019, Delhi airport created a new milestone in India by recording the highest ever cargo handling of over one million tonnes in a year. Delhi airport also has a world class dedicated temperature control facility with a capacity to handle around 1.5 lakh tonnes perishable and pharma cargo annually to ensure end-to-end temperature controlled supply chain.