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CMA CGM, Google team up to boost AI in operations

CMA CGM has signed a global partnership agreement with Google to accelerate artificial intelligence (AI) adoption across its operations.  “This collaboration aligns with our digital roadmap and investments. Together with Google, we will lead the digital revolution in shipping, logistics and media, optimise our processes, and enhance our competitive edge,” said Rudolph Saade, CMA CGM’s chairman in an official statement.  This comprehensive collaboration aims to revolutionize shipping by enhancing efficiency, responsiveness, and adaptability to market fluctuations and disruptions, resulting in faster and more responsive customer service. As part of the partnership, CMA CGM will actively seek to optimize vessel routes, container handling, and inventory management to ensure efficient and timely delivery of goods while minimizing costs and carbon footprints.

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GHAC deploys, tech such as robotic arms, conveyor systems, ASRS to bolster efficiency and mitigate costs’

Pradeep Panicker, CEO, GMR Hyderabad Int’l Airport says, “GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo (GHAC) has brought in operational excellence in the temperature-controlled facility by investing and developing the infrastructure to maintain the requisite temperature from Truck Dock to Aircraft Loading on the Tarmac. Unloading Area, X-ray Area, Racking Area, ULD/Pallet Built-up and ULD/Pallet storage area are temperature controlled with varied temperature zones. Transportation of ULDs/Pallets from terminal exit to the Aircraft is being done using the Cool Dolly to avoid any temperature excursions on Airside. GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo (GHAC) distinguishes itself through investments in expanding infrastructure, notably the ‘Pharma Zone,’ positioning itself as a premier global hub for pharmaceutical logistics. The terminal, already equipped with a vast fleet of modern temperature-controlled containers, is poised to augment its temperature control area through expansion. GHAC is actively exploring advanced technologies such as robotic arms, conveyor systems, and Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS) to bolster efficiency and mitigate labour costs over the next five years. The terminal also has a unique integrated ‘Cargo Village’, on-site regulators, warehousing and cargo trade offices backed by a very strong Road Feeder Service across South-Central India. It is also one of the preferred gateways for pharmaceutical logistics across India and abroad. A major highlight of the Hyderabad Airport Cargo facility is the unique ‘Pharma Zone’, a large multi-ULD Cool Dolly, which makes it one of India’s largest centres for the handling of temperature- sensitive cargo up to -20 degree C. The terminal also offers one of India’s largest fleets of modern temp-controlled Cool Containers viz. Cool Dolly, Envirotainer, VaQtec to name a few. Notably, GHAC holds certifications from the World Health Organization for Good Distribution Practices …

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‘Implement temperature monitoring and tracking systems to ensure cargo safety’

Arnab Bhattacharya, Country Manager, India for UPS Healthcare shares, “Implementing advanced temperature monitoring and tracking systems which provide continuous oversight and allow for immediate action if any deviations occur, helping to maintain the required temperature range, and reduce wastage. Investment is another key area of focus – specifically in modern cold storage facilities and reliable transportation networks. Public-private partnerships could be an effective way to bridge infrastructure gaps, particularly in rural areas. Regulatory compliance is also crucial. To simplify compliance issues, establishing harmonized regulatory standards across regions with consistent enforcement is necessary. We shouldn’t overlook packaging solutions either – improved methods can protect products from contamination and damage during transit. Efficiency is another important factor that can be enhanced by developing integrated logistics platforms for seamless communication among stakeholders. Operational costs are always a concern but these can be reduced by adopting energy-efficient technologies and optimizing routes. Training programs for personnel involved in cold chain logistics are essential as they improve operational efficiency and reduce errors. Now, let’s consider technology – the rise of data demand along with IoT technologies present their own set of challenges but also offer opportunities for better control over operations.”

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‘Need to streamline processes, train staff to manage cold chain products’

“To maintain consistent temperatures accurately in real-time, especially during extreme weather conditions or power outages, the implementation of advanced IoT sensors and automated systems is essential. These systems include alert mechanisms for deviations, ensuring quick corrective actions. To prevent delays in handling and transporting perishable goods, optimising logistics through investments in specialized equipment like refrigerated trucks and automated guided vehicles (AGVs) is essential. Streamlining processes and training staff to manage cold chain products efficiently significantly improves operational efficiency and product quality. To prevent overcrowding and potential breaches in temperature control due to limited storage capacity and inadequate infrastructure, it is essential to expand cold storage facilities with modular and scalable units. Upgrading infrastructure to include better insulation, energy-efficient cooling systems, and backup power solutions will also help maintain consistent temperatures. Ensure compliance by staying updated with international regulations (e.g., WHO, IATA, and local guidelines) and implementing standard operating procedures (SOPs) that align with these regulations. Conduct regular audits and staff training on compliance. Implementing integrated cold chain management software that provides comprehensive visibility and data analytics resolves issues related to visibility gaps and data integration across the supply chain. This software enables real-time tracking, reporting, and predictive analytics, ensuring efficient issue identification and proactive risk mitigation. Develop and enforce strict quality control measures, including regular inspections and quality checks at various stages of the cold chain. Implement blockchain technology to enhance the traceability and authenticity of goods.”

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‘Promote processing zones integrated with cold storages & logistics to cut wastage’

Sanjay Sharma, COO, Coldman Logistics says, “The issue lies not just in cold chain infrastructure, but in the fragmented approach taken by government, private sector, and Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs). They operate in isolation, failing to synergize efforts towards significantly reducing food wastage. While infrastructure is improving, the fundamental challenge of waste reduction remains unresolved, creating a noticeable gap. A strategic solution involves promoting processing zones integrated with cold storage warehouses and efficient transportation. Many fruits and vegetables (F&V), due to their natural properties, cannot be stored for more than 60 days even in Cold Storage and Controlled Atmosphere (CA) facilities. Processing them by freezing to sub-zero temperatures extends their shelf life up to 12 months, opening new market opportunities. Processed F&V fetch higher margins across the entire value chain and stimulate export growth, as seen with successful examples like green peas, sweet corn, and fisheries.”  

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‘Alleviate tax pressure & compliance to promote EoDB’

“To promote ease of doing business, it is essential to alleviate tax pressure and compliance, whether it is company law, income tax, or GST. Currently, GST notices are issued nationwide by just seeing them in the portal and without any application of mind. The IATA president already mentioned in the public domain that foreign carriers may quit India due to tax (GST) issues. As GST is a relatively new law, it is suggested that no penalties be imposed for the initial three years of the new business, allowing citizens sufficient time to comprehend the law. Notably, the World Bank has acknowledged GST as the most complex law globally. We also must understand that due to COVID-19 for almost 3 years, it is important to consider that period with relaxation while doing tax assessments. Within TDS, streamlining more than 36 rates is necessary to improve the business environment. Also, it is imperative to support MSMEs by considering a 20% increase in the GST threshold limit for services (from 20 lakhs) and goods (from 40 lakhs), factoring in inflation. The company law department is imposing high penalties. However, the site doesn’t work many times. Already, GST collection crosses 2 lac crore monthly. The GST department will be collecting more and more revenue, and with the help of advanced technology, notices are issued. It is high time that aviation turbine fuel is bought under GST to create a level playing field between Indian carriers and foreign carriers who have the option to fill up their aircraft with cheaper ATF from outside the country.”

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FedEx promotes digital skilling, inspires youth in logistics

FedEx Express has teamed-up with Magic Bus India Foundation, to address the digital skills gap and employability challenges in India. This collaboration aims to upskill nearly 400 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) students, with a priority on enrolling female graduates from underserved communities in Hyderabad. This initiative supports the Indian government’s strategic emphasis on nurturing a thriving pool of tech talent. An intensive 75-day curriculum has been created to upskill these youth in leading-edge Cloud Computing and allied technologies, along with transferable life and employability skills. Cloud Computing is a leading technology trend rapidly being adopted across businesses, making it an in-demand skill. The curriculum will be delivered through in-person sessions conducted by expert technical and life skills trainers, facilitating a collaborative learning experience through group activities and teamwork.  The digital skilling program includes periodic employer engagement sessions with industry and sector experts, providing youth with practical insights into various entry-level IT/ITeS jobs. The program offers mentorship to help youth strengthen their professional profiles, and interview preparation skills. The course culminates with an industry-relevant project and an opportunity to earn a global certification to showcase the participants acquired skills and knowledge. Upon course completion, participants receive placement assistance for entry-level jobs in IT/ITeS sector and post-placement support to ensure long-term job satisfaction and performance in the workplace. “At FedEx, we recognize the immense potential of India’s youth and their crucial role in shaping the future,” said Nitin Navneet Tatiwala, Vice President Marketing and Air Network, Middle East Indian Subcontinent and Africa, FedEx. “Developing a rich pool of skilled professionals is essential for driving innovation and growth. Our support not only prepares the youth for immediate job opportunities but also …

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ESR leases 48,800 sq. ft. space to UPM to boost biz efficiency

ESR Group has leased 48,800 sq. ft. of prime industrial real estate to UPM’s business unit UPM Raflatac, a world-leading sustainable labelling solutions provider. UPM will use this space in ESR Taloja Industrial & Logistics Park (ESR Taloja) to serve its growing customer base in India and achieve higher efficiency in their operations. UPM Raflatac, headquartered in Helsinki, offers a wide range of pressure-sensitive label materials for various applications, from food and beverage packaging to pharmaceuticals and industrial labelling. The new space will provide them with a modern and efficient facility to streamline their operations, including warehousing and distribution. This collaboration amplifies Navi Mumbai’s rising eminence as a preferred industrial destination for international enterprises. Key benefits of the new space for UPM Strategic location: Situated near the JNPT port and well-connected to Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, and Thane, the park offers excellent access to key transportation routes. Modern infrastructure: The Grade A+ sustainable infrastructure, pre-certified Gold by IGBC, ensures efficient operations and aligns with UPM’s commitment to sustainability. Increased capacity: The additional space will allow UPM to expand its warehousing and distribution capabilities, catering to the growing demand for its labelling solutions. Potential for value-added services: The space can be configured to accommodate potential value-added services, further enhancing UPM Raflatac’s offerings to customers. Reflecting on this collaboration, Suresh Valecha – Country Manager of UPM Raflatac, India, said “This expansion reflects our commitment to supporting the dynamic growth of the Indian market. Our growing business demands a human-centric space that aligns seamlessly with our sustainability objectives. ESR Taloja’s strategic location and state-of-the-art infrastructure will ensure efficient product flow and allow us to deliver exceptional service to our customers. Taloja’s impressive infrastructure and facilities …

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Lufthansa welcomes B777F in Delhi, named ‘Namaste India’

Lufthansa Cargo recently welcomed Boeing 777 freighter in Delhi which is named as ‘Namaste India,’ symbolizing the significance of India as one of the most important markets for global air freight service, Lufthansa Cargo team posted on its official Linkedin page. “The team members was super excited on the day and some colleagues happened to be lucky to get the closer view of this Aircraft,” the post added.

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‘Upgrade infra, tech, regulatory processes for efficient ops’

Nitin Aggarwal, CEO, TVS Infrastructure Investment Manager  says,“We look forward to budgetary provisions that bolster the sector’s infrastructure, streamline regulatory processes, and incentivise technological advancements in warehousing facilities. Recognizing warehousing as a distinct and emerging asset class is crucial for India’s continued economic advancement, facilitating increased foreign direct investment and bolstering our global competitiveness. Moreover, the rise of e-commerce hubs across India has amplified the demand for efficient warehousing solutions, reflecting the broader consumer trend towards rapid and reliable delivery services. This growth necessitates advanced, strategically located warehouses to meet the heightened expectations of modern consumers. Emerging corridors within Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities are poised for higher rental growth, outpacing established submarkets due to a dearth of quality supply of industrial projects. We anticipate measures that recognize the exponential demand for industrial warehousing and support the sector in meeting this demand through sustainable solutions. “We advocate for incentives, including MSME status for the industrial real estate sector, and seek budgetary relaxations in tax rates and norms, including the crucial allowance of input tax credit under GST. Uniform land acquisition norms across states and simplified warehousing compliance processes would further catalyse the sector’s growth. We look forward to a budget that paves the way for a resilient, sustainable, and globally competitive warehousing ecosystem in India.”

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