If the recent delivery of garment shipment from Dhaka to Manchester via Indira Gandhi International Airport’s newly-launched Transshipment Excellence Centre (TEC) is anything to go by, it could emerge as a boon for Bangladesh’s textile and retail industry looking to reach markets in Europe and the US.
The shipment was unloaded from a recently-resumed Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight to Delhi and loaded again to a foreign airline.
The transfer process took just about half an hour, officials of Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) told The Daily Star.
The average time for reconnection of transshipment cargo is between 45 minutes and six hours, they said.
Until now, transshipment of garment from Bangladesh was solely through Dubai.
But with Delhi now serving as a transshipment point the time and cost of freight have come down, according to officials.
“TEC at Delhi airport will contribute significantly in promoting Bangladesh’s textile and retail industry leveraging to carry and connect voluminous air cargo across the world,” said Sanjiv Edward, chief commercial officer of DIAL.
Given the emergence of fast fashion in First World countries, there is a growing need of a transshipment hub to fast connect Bangladesh to the rest of the world, he added.
Delhi airport provides maximum airline connectivity to the world among all the Indian airports, serving around 145 destinations.
Since Bangladesh has no direct flights to various ports in Europe and the US, Delhi airport will serve as a transshipment hub providing tremendous opportunity and connectivity to cargo originating in Bangladesh, Edward said.
The TEC facility, which is a first-of-its-kind in any Indian airport, was created with the view to making the GMR Group-run Delhi airport a transshipment hub.
Spanning 6,500 square metre, TEC has round-the-clock operation to provide smooth and fast movement of transshipment cargo in a well-integrated facility equipped with all the required infrastructure and cargo handling equipment.
The customs and the Indian government have given their clearances to DIAL to operationalise the dedicated transshipment centre and charted out the Standing Operating Procedure (SOP) for handling transshipment cargo, DIAL officials said.
Delhi has India’s largest and busiest airport having two state-of-art cargo terminals to handle all types of cargo, such as textile, retail, electronics, perishable, pharma, project cargo, live stocks, etc.
It has a cargo handling capacity of over 1.8 million tonnes annually, which can go up to 2.3 million tonnes. In financial year 2018-19, Delhi airport set a new milestone in India by recording the highest ever cargo handling of over one million tonnes in a year.
Delhi airport also has a dedicated temperature control facility with a capacity to handle around 1.5 lakh tonnes perishable and pharma cargo annually to ensure end-to-end temperature controlled supply chain, DIAL officials said.