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Logistics

Logistics spl secy raises concern on air cargo rates and insensitivity

April 23, 2020: N Sivasailam, special secretary- logistics, department of commerce, during a recent virtual conference, expressed his concerns over high freight rate in air cargo and lack of proactiveness from Container Freight Stations

The special secretary informed that the department of commerce has taken a decision to build an e-documentation platform to help logistics companies to operate efficiently and remotely.
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The special secretary informed that the department of commerce has taken a decision to build an e-documentation platform to help logistics companies to operate efficiently and remotely.

April 23, 2020: N Sivasailam, special secretary- logistics, department of commerce, during a recent virtual conference, expressed his concerns over high freight rate in air cargo and lack of proactiveness from Container Freight Stations (CFS) to offer relief to freight forwarders who found difficulty in moving their consignments.

The special secretary informed that the department of commerce under the ministry of commerce has taken a decision upon the request from ministry of shipping to built an e-documentation platform to help logistics companies to operate efficiently and remotely, while industry representatives raised their concern over lack of a single point contact in issuing passes for logistics professionals working on the ground, containers stuck in CFSs and pending payments on both sides of the supply chain.

He was talking in an online discussion and interactive session organised by Freightwalla and FICCI on April 22.

He particularly gave an example of the cargo carrier Blue Dart which charged Rs 128 per kg to move a consignment from Lucknow to Varanasi on April 21 whereas the normal is only around Rs 7 per kg. He urged associations to boycott such businesses and said "permission to operate for such players will be withdrawn."

Blue Dart didn't respond to our queries regarding the same.

"Air cargo is flowing smoothly around the country and commandable how Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore airports have coordinated with stakeholders to evacuate cargoes, got rid of backlogs and kept the supply chain moving. Airlines must also not take advantage of the situation and charge high rates to move cargo."

The special secretary also criticised the attitude of CFSs which hasn't yet provided relief for freight forwarders or help supply chain move during the Covid-19 situation. He clarified that he doesn't support the blanket exemption of demurrage charges as he did at the starting of the lockdown which caused huge backlogs and caused supply chain disruption.

"It wasn't a good experience dealing with the freight forwarders who refused to take their import consignments from airports, seaports and CFSs. Complete waiver of demurrage charges would have left these places clogged and supply chain disrupted."

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