Even amidst the various challenges that arose in global supply chain due to the pandemic, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) witnessed promising signs of the EXIM movement going back to the pre-COVID days. CSMIA’s Air Cargo terminal in CY 2021 handled a record 7.7 lakh tonnes of cargo, which is 28 per cent more than that of CY 2020 where around 6 lakh tonnes of cargo was facilitated. CSMIA in the past year facilitated the increasing demand of export goods across the globe and has month-on-month witnessed a steady rise in shipments while combatting the second wave of COVID-19.
In CY 2021, of the approximately 7.7 lakh tonnes of cargo handled, around 2.1 lakh tonnes was facilitated domestically while over 5.6 lakh tonnes was facilitated internationally, thus recording a 30 per cent rise in domestic volume and 27 per cent rise in international volume in comparison to CY 2020, where around 1.6 lakh tonnes of domestic cargo and 4.4 lakh tonnes of international cargo was facilitated. The past year also witnessed over 1.8 lakh aircraft movements, which is 31 per cent higher than that of CY 2020. The overall cargo volume at CSMIA is expected to witness a 10 per cent growth in CY 2022 and is projected to achieve 95 per cent of pre-COVID volume by the end of CY 2022.
CSMIA throughout the pandemic has been relentlessly handling cargo activities in order to mobilize and supply essential commodities across India and the world. In the last year global air cargo witnessed a rise in demand for instant shipments served by e-commerce sector to deliver products faster. This rise in e-commerce services boasted the overall rise in non-essential products such as automobile components and engineering goods being transported in CY 2021. Essential products such as pharmaceutical goods, vaccines, COVID-related aid and agro products were also seen on a rise in the past year. CSMIA since the start of the pandemic has handled over 10,000 cargo relief flights and transported over 12,000 tonnes of COVID-19 relief cargo which includes 311 million doses of Covid vaccines, over 1000 tons of Oxygen concentrators, 600 tonnes of COVID medications, 50 tonnes of oxygen generators, COVID diagnostic kits, COVID medical equipment, face masks and face Shields, etc.
Engineering goods, documents and samples, e-commerce and postal cargo emerged as the top goods that were transported the most domestically and Automobiles, Pharmaceuticals and Engineering goods were the top goods in demand internationally in 2021. In the overall share of export cargo, pharmaceuticals were seen to be the highest transported goods contributing to 26 per cent, while agro products/perishables contributed to 15 per cent, automobiles at 13 per cent, engineering goods at 11 per cent, chemicals, garments, dangerous goods, and live animals were the rest of the goods. Furthermore, with the ongoing wave of the pandemic, the airport continues to process critical life-saving medicines and equipments.
Exponential growth was witnessed in export shipments for Frankfurt, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro and Omaha while Dubai, Frankfurt, London, Katowice, and Fuzhou witnessed rise in import goods from CSMIA in CY 2021. For the same time period, CSMIA enhanced its international connectivity with the additions of Khrabrovo, Rockland, Rokeby, Bari, Huharaz and Lahr. CSMIA has welcomed Silkway West Freighter operations in July 2021 and Hong Kong Air Cargo Freighter operations in Sep 2021 enhancing capacity to Baku and Hong Kong sectors.
Mumbai Airport has been one of the leading airports in India in cargo IT and digital initiatives. The airport is the first to introduce Air Cargo Community System (AMAX), Air Cargo Custodian Mobile Application and first to receive IATA Proof of Concept for e-freight penetration. Continuing its streak of digital developments, the airport has recently launched first of its kind D-Cube concept in imports that offers contact less, paperless digital gate-pass facilitating social distancing and further reduction of dwell time.
Being the first airport in India to receive IATA CEIV accreditation and Strategic member of Pharma.aero, CSMIA’s air cargo terminal is well-positioned to support, maintain and optimise pharma-dedicated corridors globally, heading towards becoming one of the largest cargo hubs of the country and support the world in its fight against COVID-19.