Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) welcomed the first batch of transhipment cargo from Bangladesh today (March 03), paving the way for a faster and cost-effective route for shipping of export cargo internationally, all the while enhancing the potential of the airport to solidify its position as the preferred transhipment hub in the subcontinent region.
The cargo consignment which left Bangladesh capital Dhaka on Sunday (February 26) reached DIAL on Friday and now, is all set to leave for its destined location in Spain on Sunday (March 05).
The transhipment cargo reached Delhi from Dhaka via the Benapole-Petrapol Integrated Check Post (ICP). Once the cargo left the Petrapol border after clearing all security checks, the shippers/exporters have been able to track their shipments throughout the journey up till its arrival at Delhi Airport, and will be able to until final uploading of the cargo on to the aircraft.
To ensure ease-of-doing-business, DIAL has created a special truck docking facility and a dedicated X-ray area for swift transfer of cargo to their outbound locations.
DIAL received approval from the Government of India on February 07, 2023 allowing DIAL to serve as cargo transhipment hub between Bangladesh and other global destinations for export cargo.
This decision by the government is expected to boost the national economy while reducing shipment cost significantly for manufacturers and increasing the daily export of international cargo via the airport, including ready-made garments (RMG), handlooms, footwear, leather products, jute products and pharmaceuticals.
Over the years, Bangladesh has emerged as a global manufacturing hub for ready-made garments. The new route of transportation is further expected to create new vistas of opportunity for the South Asian country. Since Bangladeshi manufacturers rely heavily on India for raw material including threads, textiles, jute, leather and pharmaceutical raw material, any boost in exports will directly result in an increase in demand for produced-in-India raw material in Bangladesh.
Bangladeshi RMG products are especially in demand in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Denmark, parts of Eurasia and in the USA. With Delhi Airport’s direct connectivity to most European nations, this route will further boost the Indian government’s initiative of helping reach countries of the Indian sub-continent to their full potential.
Speaking on the occasion, DIAL CEO Videh Kumar Jaipuriar said, “With this initiative, the Delhi Airport is on its way to become the International cargo hub of the world, serving as a transhipment centre between East and West. Globally, most manufacturing happens in South and South-East Asian countries, which lack freight and cargo handling capacity. This is where Delhi Airport can help nations come together, help businesses and economies of neighbouring countries prosper.”
Delhi Airport is the largest cargo hub in the South Asia region, with two integrated cargo terminals having an annual cargo handling capacity of 1.8 million MT which is scalable to 2.3 million MT. The cargo handling capacity at DIAL gives it a unique position to help cater to manufacturers and suppliers internationally, and especially in South East Asia for a faster and cost-effective way to ship their cargo across western nations.
The cargo terminals at Delhi Airport boast world-class infrastructure with GDP certified temperature-controlled facilities for handling temperature-sensitive cargo. The temperature-controlled cargo facilities have a capacity to handle over 1.5 lakh MT per annum. These facilities have state-of-the-art temperature-controlled zones with separate cool chambers ranging from –200C to +250C.
Apart from its ability to handle massive cargo loads, Delhi Airport is equipped with state-of-the art handling equipment, advanced screening systems, efficient storage and processing facilities, paperless processes etc. providing efficient cargo handling services for international as well as domestic cargo. Reportedly, the GMR Airports Infrastructure Limited (GIL) subsidiary in July 2019 became the first airport in India to operationalise a dedicated Transhipment Excellence Centre (TEC).
In terms of airside infrastructure, DIAL is the first and only airport in the country to have 12 dedicated freighter parking bays, providing ample capacity for airlines to move cargo to and from the airport. In fact, the cargo apron is capable of doing three nose load operations seamlessly at a single point of time.
In India, transhipment cargo hubs are the need of the hour, not just as the country continues to ascend in the rankings of the world’s largest economies with the size of its consumer market continuing to grow at a rapid pace but also because the fastest growing aviation market now plays an increasingly important role as one of Asia-Pacific’s major economic growth engines, driving Asian regional trade and investment flows.