SpiceJet officially inaugurated India’s first-ever free trade warehousing zone yesterday at GMR Aerospace & Industrial Park of Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Hyderabad which could transform the country’s pharma capital into other air transhipment hubs like Singapore, Malaysia, or Dubai.

SpiceJet is also in negotiations with the different metro airports in the country to set up similar free trade warehousing zones, revealed an industry source.

The Indian airline had signed an agreement to lease with GMR Hyderabad Aviation SEZ (GHASL), a 100 per cent subsidiary of GMR Hyderabad International Airport (GHIAL), in March 2020 by which the airport constructed a 33,000 sq ft facility for the airline to carry out the warehousing, distribution and trading activity.

India already has many free trade zones across its shipping ports and there is a few more coming up. But India never had a free trade zone on the airside and it was causing logistical issues for shippers and consignees.

“The free trade zones are the foreign territory in Indian land like what you see in Singapore Changi Airport or Al Maktoum International Airport in Jebel Ali, Dubai. Any foreign customers who have not registered in India can easily come in and keep their cargo in this space without getting into the taxes of India and without paying any duties,” said officials.

With the e-commerce and cross border boom, there is a lot of cargo moving through the air. Unfortunately, India doesn’t have any free trade zones right now.

“The facility is going to help many pharma customers that’s why SpiceJet has strategically placed it in Hyderabad which is a pharma hub, they added.

He also noted that, with its cargo arm SpiceXpress, SpiceJet is heading towards providing warehousing solutions and end to end logistics services similar to DHL.

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