Air freight corridor between India and Afghan brings in cheer for trade

It was jubilant faces that we could see on 19 June in Delhi airport when the first air freight from Kabul landed. More than the success of the first flight touching down, it may be looked as India’s first victory over Pakistan’s muscles stretching to block India’s trade by road with Afghanistan. Pakistan was in an advantageous position as all by surface routes from India to Afghanistan passes through Pakistan.

The much talked about India-Afghanistan air freight corridor took shape during the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in September 2016. And the detailed plans were worked out when both the country heads met at Amritsar for the regional summit. The following six months were crucial for both the countries to make it a reality. It is understood that necessary over-flight permissions were taken as it flies over Pakistan sky.

It was earlier reported that the first flight from Kabul would take off on June 15. But the first flight took off from Kabul on June 19 marking an imprint in the history of air freight between the two countries. With the air cargo corridor in operations, it is now estimated that the trade between India and Afghanistan would touch the $1 billion in the next three years from the current levels of $800 million.

While President Ashraf Ghani inaugurated the air corridor from Kabul, India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and her deputy MJ Akbar was at the Delhi Airport along with Ashok Gajapathi Raju, India’s Minister for Civil Aviation, to receive the maiden flight. 60 tonnes of asafoetida or commonly known as hing worth $6 million dollars was the first set of cargo. The Indian Prime Minister welcomed the first flight by tweeting, “Direct connectivity between India and Afghanistan will usher prosperity. I thank President Ashraf Ghani for the initiative.”

t is now believed that the trade between the two countries is set to improve tremendously and also give Afghanistan a greater access to Indian markets. Currently, Afghanistan uses the Karachi Port for its exports. And export via road service to India is through Pakistan. Though the movement of cargo from Afghanistan to India via road is allowed, however, import from India on the same route is prohibited by Pakistan.

Recalling here the much talked about TAPI gas line (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India). For energy-starved countries like India and Pakistan, TAPI would be the best solution. The pipeline which was conceived in early 90’s had hit many roadblocks in the past. After much delay, it is now believed that the line would be a reality in 2020. Some section of the industry is still sceptical about the line coming online, owing to the resistance from Pakistan, rising security threat because of ISIS penetration in the region, etc. However, the project geared momentum when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Turkmenistan in 2015 July.

So if everything goes as planned, India will have a boost in a trade to Afghanistan in the near future and attain energy security once TAPI becomes alive.

Shipbuilding industry to get a boost

Shipbuilding industry to get a boost with ship design & model testing center coming up, says Shipping Minister

The shipbuilding industry in the country will get a great boost with a ship design and model testing centre coming up, as a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed with IIT-Kharagpur. The facility will be the first-of-its-kind in the country, said Union Minister of State for Shipping (Independent charge),  Mr Mansukh Mandaviya, while speaking as a Chief Guest at the inaugural of the two-day conclave of ports of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) last week, said a report.

The proposed centre would be of great use to the other six member nations in BIMSTEC—Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal. The Minister said there was great potential for improving maritime cooperation, and trade and commerce among the seven nations. All of them were registering 6-7 per cent growth in spite of the global slowdown and there was a great deal of synergy in their interests, he added, as per the report.

Government invests in integrated air cargo industry IT platform

The Ministry of Civil Aviation of government of India is preparing to launch a common information technology platform to streamline country’s air cargo industry. The common IT platform, according to India’s civil aviation secretary Rajeev Nayan Choubey, is “not an idea but a work in progress”.

“It is unfortunate that the air cargo industry is far behind the shipping industry when it comes to IT adoption and innovation. We intend to complete the common IT platform for the air cargo industry within next two years, and we are talking to every stakeholder to ensure that the common platform is the most efficient tool to enhance the air cargo value chain,” said Choubey recently.

The common IT platform, according to Choubey, will be a project under the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Today, each stakeholder in the air cargo supply chain works in silos and operates legacy systems resulting in cumbersome processes and undue delays in cargo movements. The new IT platform will bring efficiency in handling air freight.

“The platform that we are creating will ensure cargo is tracked and traced and shippers will be able to identify the most cost-effective routes to move their cargo in real time,” said Choubey. Talking about how the industry participants are responding to this initiative, the civil aviation secretary stated that everyone is waiting for something like this and “this is something that should have happened yesterday”.

Globally the air cargo industry may have reached a crucial point where a fast-track approach to digitalisation is required to keep pace with competitive modes of transport. Outdated and complicated processes and the continued use of legacy systems by air cargo industry stakeholders pose serious challenges to future of the industry.

It is undergoing a technology transformation – expanding from heavy use of legacy mainframe systems to more customised interfaces used for networking planning, flight operations, revenue accounting, and other processes.

The industry has, to varying degrees, been slow in adopting the best practices and technological innovations that will modernise air cargo. Despite the benefits, many airlines and airports are yet to tackle the upgrade of their legacy systems.

According to the ministry, India’s air cargo industry is expected to grow 9 percent in the next few years. The new national civil aviation policy targets to increase cargo capacity to 10 million tonnes and it expects to increase air freight volume four times by 2027.

The ministry of civil aviation is also identifying niche products that demand air as a mode of transport. Choubey said that when the country’s air cargo infrastructure is enhanced and streamlined, the potential is huge for time sensitive cargo. He identified perishables, including pharma, and express cargo as two segments that will offer huge volumes to air cargo. “Pharma is a big money spinner, and we intend to capture a big share of the pharma market,” he said.

Protek Gives One Point Solution to One of The Leading Manufacturers of Acids, Alkyl Chlorides

[vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1575018638077{padding-top: 30px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_column_text]One of our clients, a leading manufacturers and global supplier of Acids, Alkyl Chlorides and Intermediates was facing lots of challenges in handling their ISO Tanks and had initiated a global freight forwarding tender. Protek was entrusted to take care of couple of aspects related to the handling of ISO Tanks, we came out as one point solution to their requirements We did end-to-end outbound and inbound logistics as well as proactive planning and management for the reverse logistics of empty tanks to ensure they are returned on schedule. Proactive exception management based on predetermined lead times for issuing pre-alerts and alerts for foreseeable near-miss events.

This helped in reducing the turnaround time and brought things well under control. Protek is now associated with the customer for the last 6 years. It helped the Company in Improved visibility, velocity, availability and turnaround of ISO-tank. Global expertise, proactive approach systems and excellent support system increased efficiencies in cutting the operational costs to a very larger extent.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_btn title=”Back” link=”|||” el_class=”service-blog service-r-blog”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Tallest Ganesha Idol Travels With Us To Atlanta, USA – Just On Time Delivery

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]With the blessing of Lord Ganesha, who is believed to be removal of obstacles, Protek was entrusted the responsibility to ship a 13 feet Ganesh Idol to Gujarat Samaj of Atlanta USA. This was one such non regular job’s which was executed by us flawlessly. Gujarat Samaj Atlanta, approached Protek, just around 75 days before the event was loaded with the responsibility of end to end solution. We did not  have any specification or the details of what would be going into Shipping the idol.  As we started interacting with the trustees of the Samaj at Atlanta, we came across lot of issues which we felt will be a hindrance in shipping the Ganesha from India.

The first the foremost one was they had already sent out the invitation of the event beforehand, so nothing could be postponed & we had to stick to the date based on a reverse calculation method. Moreover, since the idol was of Plaster of Paris again the challenge came up as US does not allow such shipment without getting proper justification on the method of disposal in an environmentally friendly manner, after completion of the event. i.e. How are they going to handle it post the function getting over? We understood the regulator requirements suggested appropriate solutions on what need to be done. We were then left with very few days the greatest challenge came up when Transport Operator’s in India went on a flash strike which continued for more than 10 days.

There was a challenge at every juncture in whatever we tried to do, right from local transport due to strike, booking open top container and adhering to Custom procedure of India and USA. We were facing the obstacles, but a strong belief faith in Lord Ganesha gave us all the strength and guidance to enable us to finally ship the idol. It was half job done at this moment we were continuously monitoring the vessel moment so that we give proper feedback to the organiser of the event at Atlanta.

The vessel sailed through reached Savannah Port in Atlanta around 3 days before the event, we started with most of the regulatory procedure completed it, but again a new challenge came up, it was of the local Haulage to get a flat rack container which could ship the container out of the port and to the destination. The height of the container again proved to be a major obstacle to move it out of the port. We weathered many storms to make it happen, but our determination the blessing of Lord Ganesha was there with us to take it to the final destination. We had to dismantle rework to enable us to load back to the flat rack, this we had to do overnight so as to make it possible for the idol to reach Atlanta on time for the darshan on the day of the event.

All this could only happen because of the blessing of Lord Ganesha the dedication will power of our employees “That we will Make it happen” “This was a Just in Time delivery.

The event was attended by lot of Hindu Community staying in Atlanta also there were couple of Bollywood Actor / Actress who travelled from India to attended this function. We received lot of appreciation accolade across the spectrum for making this happen in USA.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_btn title=”Back” link=”|||” el_class=”service-blog service-r-blog”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

One Stop Accountability That Won Repeat Business

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A Swiss based Flavour Company had a long chronic issue which was holding delaying their shipment for long periods of time. This in-turn had a serious impact on their production & delivery schedules as they had limited control on clearances from regulatory Authorities. Needless to say these delay’s had a huge impact on the cost’s due to detention & demurrage charges. Protek analysed the issue found a solution to cut down on the lead time to get raw material at their plant, quickly. Being the first customer in the field of flavours we had to go extra mile in understanding the issues and giving solution without compromising to the satisfaction of our client.

All what we had to do was to align our thoughts based on the client’s requirement / feedback then rework our strategy to bring down the lead time to the expected level.It took couple of days for us to get a control on each & every aspect of the issue, but never the less we were successful brought down the lead time by
sizable days. This improved on productivity of the client also helped in cutting the operational cost to a larger extent. Post that the client had a very limited issues related to their shipment we remained committed to them in the same manner.

This has created a goodwill with the client, which in turn has benefited us in increasing business year after year.

We are grateful to the client for believing in us & making us their preferred partner.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_btn title=”Back” link=”|||” el_class=”service-blog service-r-blog”][/vc_column][/vc_row]