Emphasising on high logistics cost in India as compared to US and China, Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport, Highways and MSME, Government of India points to all stakeholders, at the webinar held by Domestic Air Cargo Agents Association of India (DACAAI) , “Unless we reduce this logistics cost, we cannot be competitive in the world. We are working in road sector by creating Delhi-Mumbai express highway wherein work has already started in 32 out of 62 pockets. When ready, the trucks can reach Delhi-Mumbai in just 28 hours instead of 48 hours earlier and they would be able to make 9 trips instead of 4 trips which will bring down the cost.
“Movement of agri-horticulture, fruit vegetables, lichees from Bihar, pineapple from Nagaland, oranges from Nagpur, grapes from Nashik, fish, prawns and other perishables is important to increase domestic air cargo volumes. However, it won’t be viable by air unless the airfreight cost and other related handling costs get lowered,” he states. According to him, “Cargo operators should work out full cargo flights for fruit and vegetables to get the best rates from airlines. Even old disused aircraft with defence and can be converted to freighters. By using domestic air carriage of perishables farmers can get the all India market and fair value for his produce as well as operators can get profits.”