Airfreight logistics Vietnam 2013: The opening Salvo

The 1st Airfreight Logistics Vietnam 2013 which ended on April 24th, 2013 was the opening salvo for an action plan of the logistics in the airfreight sector. 20 lecturers – world leading strategists of airfreight sector- gathered in Vietnam with comments on new opportunities of the sector.

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At the opening of the conference, Mr. Luu Thanh Binh, Deputy Director General of Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, stated that despite multiple difficulties in 2012, air freight transport still achieved a growth of 17%. And the aim of making the airfreight a strong sector in the process of regional integration is the inevitable.

Mr. Rodrigo Reyes – Regional Manager of Asia Pacific Airlines, Director of air freighting at the International Air Transport Association (IATA), reported to the conference action plan of IATA for this year and the year after. He also warned security problems will be great challenges to airfreight sectors of developing countries, as 100% goods through the U.S and EU will be carefully inspected. Like e-commerce, airfreight needs safety for the whole system and businesses need to be aware of the challenges in the future that help them avoid financial loss.

The need for airfreight was well depicted in the lecture by Mr. Cyrille Picard, Marketing Director of Airbus. The redundancy of load capacity has occurred in the past two years. In his opinion, however, the need will be recovered in 2013 as a result of many reasons, one of them is the appearance of newly emerging leading markets.

According to Mr. Picard, as the fuel cost is increasing, which accounts for half of total expenses, cargo fleet is being in “rejuvenation” with higher fuel efficiency and safety. And Asia has been a pioneer in replacing fleets of cargo planes in the next 20 years with mostly medium-sized cargo planes. In his opinion, Vietnam market is a developing with plenty of opportunities, unfortunately, there has been no specialized cargo plane so far. And Airbus is willing to provide Vietnam with the activeness to give more chance to compete with other fearsome competitors.

When mentioning airfreight market, Mr. Huseyin Ceyhan- Eastern Regional Director of Turkisk Airlines- appreciated passenger liners with belly cargo. For the increase in fuel price, businesses have shifted to more economic transport method, not paying much attention to shipping time as they used to. However, Mr. Nol van Fenama, Executive Director of VFPR&Media Consultants (Singaproe) noted the world economy is bouncing back, and airfreight sector will soon be getting over.

Mr. Despen Link, Sales Development Director of Vietjet Air, appreciated the cooperation among local airlines despite the much less developing airfreight. Governments of many regional countries agreed that HCMC will be a transport hub with stable infrastructure and a springboard for future development and investment attraction. Mr. Stanley Lim – Director of FIATA – said Vietnam airline is paying the great role in the region when cargo from neighbor countries has stopped in Vietnam for transit. According to Mr. Ceyhan, Vietnam is a developing market, many investors from China market intend to shift their investments to Vietnam in developing infrastructures.

For the past 10 years, Asian aviation sector is reaching the above-average development, playing an important role in boosting the world economy. In addition, the uses of IT, the coordination with Customs, the effective training also help increase the efficiency of the sector.

When mentioning activities of airports in supply chains, Mr. Steven Verhasselt, Sales Development Director of Liege Airport (Belgium) appreciated roles of all the links in logistics processes. A combination of them meets the needs of markets. Although the use of passenger plans for transporting cargo really works in current situation, a plane specialized in cargo transport is a professional product. Similarly, a professional cargo terminal is necessary for the optimization of logistics process.

Other matters as bilateral or multilateral agreements, connecting opportunities of businesses in markets as CIS community, Hong Kong, Singapore were being discussed in the conference. Opportunities and potential of airfreight were highly appreciated. Mr. Nguyen Duy Binh, Director of Vietnam FedEx, said the logistics sector will have more opportunities as soon as Vietnam signs Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

Training program by FIATA and IATA, experience from training in Thailand, action plan by AFFA were also mentioned in the conference. Skills for laborers is one of the most essential matter of the sector. According to Mr. Thomas Sim, Chairman of FIATA Advocacy Body Vocational Training, said local human resources should be used to create professionals, skilled experts in order to make an improvement in logistics process and create a better image for the sector.

The 2-day airfreight conference finished and we can hope that there will be another chance for another conference in the near future.

By DUONG NGUYEN
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