India’s first integrated, on-airport perishable-cargo handling center held its soft opening at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru. At Bengaluru, perishable cargo volume has had a 15 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in recent years. The new addition, run by Air India SATS Airport Services (AISATS) and called CoolPort, is a play to boost these numbers further.
CoolPort is an 11,000 square meter facility built to handle temperature-sensitive cargo traversing the Indian state of Karnataka, which has a large pharmaceutical- and perishables-based economy.
The majority of international pharma cargo traffic moves between Asia, Europe and the United States, with India-U.S. trade alone accounting for some 30 percent. The new facility fits into AISATS’ plan to “feed and connect Asia through building tighter connected corridors through its network,” the airport services provider explained.
With pharma shippers imposing increasingly strict control and oversight conditions on their high-value shipments, AISATS has ticked the boxes to ensure their business. The facility has a handling capacity of 40,000 tonnes per annum, including 17 dedicated cold rooms with adjustable temperatures ranging from -25°C to +25°C. In addition to pharma, AISATS says it hopes to move fruits, vegetables, poultry, seafood and flowers.
Mike Chew, CEO, AISATS, said he hoped the new facility would make Bengaluru “the state into a preferred air cargo hub of South India.” Chew added that, ““The Indian economy is on a high trajectory of growth and requires upgraded infrastructure facilities in the logistics space to cater to the growing needs of the trade and the air cargo industry.”
With the world’s second-largest population, India could also be the third-largest aviation market by 2020, snapping up an additional 1,600 aircraft over the next 20 years.
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