Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a subsidiary of GMR Airports Infrastructure Limited, on March 3, 2023 welcomed the first batch of transshipment cargo from Bangladesh, paving the way for a faster and cost-effective route of shipping export cargo internationally.
Delhi Airport received approval from the Government of India on February 7, 2023, allowing DIAL to serve as a Cargo Transshipment hub between Bangladesh and other global destinations for export cargo. The first batch, which left Dhaka on February 26, reached the Delhi Airport on March 3 and will take off for its destined location in Spain on March 5.
The decision by the government to allow Delhi Airport to serve as a transshipment cargo hub is expected to boost the national economy while reducing the shipment cost significantly for manufacturers. It will increase the daily export of international cargo via Delhi 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. This new route of commute is further expected to create new vistas of opportunity for the South Asian country. Since Bangladeshi manufacturers rely heavily on India for raw materials, including threads, textiles, jute, leather and pharmaceutical raw material, any boost in their exports will directly result in an increase in demand for produced-in-India raw materials in Bangladesh.
Bangladeshi RMG products are especially in demand in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Denmark, parts of Eurasia and the USA. With Delhi Airport’s direct connectivity to most European nations, this route will further boost the Indian government’s initiative of helping countries of the Indian sub-continent reach their full potential.
The transshipment cargo will reach from Dhaka to Delhi via the Bangladesh-India border at Benapole-Petrapol. Once the consignment leaves the Petrapol border after all security checks, the manufacturers will be able to track the shipment throughout its journey, including its arrival at the Delhi Airport, during security clearances, and final uploading on the aircraft.
To ensure ease of doing business, DIAL has created a special truck docking facility and a dedicated X-ray area for the swift transfer of consignment to their outbound locations.
Speaking on the occasion, the CEO of DIAL, Mr Videh Kumar Jaipuriar said, “With this initiative, the Delhi Airport is on its way to becoming the International Cargo hub of the world, serving as a transshipment 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 Airport in the South Asia region. It has two integrated Cargo Terminals having an annual cargo handling capacity of 1.8 million MT, which is scalable to 2.3 million MT. The incredible cargo handling capacity of the Delhi Airport gives it a unique position to help cater to manufacturers and suppliers internationally, especially in South East Asia, for a faster and cost-effective way to ship their cargo to western nations.
Besides its ability to handle massive cargo loads, the Delhi Airport boasts state-of-the-art handling equipment, advanced screening systems, efficient storage and processing facilities, paperless processes etc., providing efficient cargo handling services for international and domestic consignments.
The cargo terminals of the Delhi Airport have a world-class infrastructure with GDP-certified temperature-controlled facilities for handling temperature-sensitive consignments. The temperature-controlled cargo facilities have the 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 –20 degrees C to +25 degrees C.
As far as airside infrastructure is concerned, Delhi Airport is the first and only airport in the country to have 12 Nos. of dedicated freighter parking bays, providing ample capacity for Airlines to move cargo to and from the airport. In fact, the cargo apron can take care of three Nose Load operations seamlessly at a single point in time.