“My agenda is to promote networking, knowledge & advocacy”

Sanjiv Edward, Head of Cargo Business, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) is the new Chairman of The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA). In an interview with Jasleen Kaur, Edward talks about his roles, responsibilities, goals and challenges.

Tell us about your role and responsibilities as the Chairman of TIACA?
Taking over as a chairman, my role would be to give direction to the organisation to further build on its strong foundation while looking forward to create a strong engaged membership base, increase our global footprint reflecting the true nature of our organisation, advocating the issues to promote global standards, opportunities for technology enhancements for air cargo industry and delivering the Air Cargo Forum 2016 as a unique platform for industry to transact business and network.

What is your agenda now?
I want to ensure we are actively practicing and promoting our three pillars of networking, knowledge and advocacy. My priorities will be to build a strong membership base; to increase the global reach of TIACA engaging with the industry globally and regionally taking up advocacy issues that bring value; ensuring that the Air Cargo Forum in Paris next year becomes the most desired event to transact business and understand future trends that impact the businesses.

How do you plan to achieve your goals? Do you find any challenges?
Currently, we are looking at how to simplify the security processes by making sure that whatever information is being used is accurate and goes on time. Secondly, we are looking at standardisation of security equipments because there is diversity of equipments and standardisation brings manufacturing and utilisation cost down. e-Freight is another important thing wherein I want to invest my tenure by emphasising more on embracing technology to achieve speed.
Obviously, there are challenges while driving commonality among the processes and the equipments and building global uniform standards.

As the first Indian in this post, what you think are the expectations from the Indian air cargo fraternity?
India is definitely a very promising and emerging market and I see a lot can be done in terms of bringing efficiency in the logistics trade, reducing logistics cost, improving the time we usually take and giving our exporters and importers the edge in the logistics. We need to interact with global organisations. India can really grow its air freight market by:

  • Investing in infrastructure which really drives growth. This has been demonstrated by Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi; they made significant investments in developing cargo infrastructure since 2010 and over the last two years have recorded the fastest cargo growth among major airports in the country, to emerge as India’s top cargo airport in the last fiscal.
  • Adopting processes that consistently deliver operational excellence.
  • Enhanced collaboration between industry and government – an excellent example of this is the Air Cargo Forum India (ACFI), a local not for profit association for the air freight industry which is actively engaging with the government on behalf of the industry.

TIACA also talks to World Custom Organisation (WCO) and different UN organisations for bringing simplification in processes and I will play my part in making sure that India gets benefits from me heading the association as a Chairman. TIACA will be willing to take a step ahead to help if there is any specific issue which needs global attention. And putting a person from India as a head of TIACA itself shows the importance of the Indian market at the international platform.

What are the current issues at TIACA at present?
There are various initiatives which TIACA is driving in terms of innovation, process simplification, technological enhancements, etc. TIACA is currently aggressively working on advocating global standards for air cargo industry growth e.g. one of the issues being Pre-Loading Advance Cargo Information (PLACI) on which we are advocating global standards for both the Customs (data submission and processing) and Civil Aviation (shipment screening and mitigation).

In the area of technology, we are working towards wider adoption of software standards for cargo screening. This would allow broader use of the same hardware/software, and effectively reduce system cost. TIACA will also be advocating for a greater commonality to training. This will help groups such as ground handlers operate more efficiently. At our recent Executive Summit in Miami, we held a workshop to discuss ground handling challenges, and this topic remains at the top of the list.

TIACA will also be exploring areas of innovation in the supply chain, from shippers through to consignees, as the basic platform for our Air Cargo Forum in Paris in 2016.