Home >News >India >We need to expand use of aviation assets to cut logistics cost: Gadkari

NEW DELHI : India needs to start using its grounded aircraft and minor airports for cargo handling to bring down logistics costs and make exports of fish, vegetables and fruits more viable, transport minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday.

In an online interaction with members of the Domestic Air Cargo Agents Association of India, Gadkari said he will speak with defence minister Rajnath Singh to use assets such as decommissioned Air Force planes for cargo.

This, he said, will make exports of certain commodities more viable, enhance incomes of people and benefit the nation. “The government will support your efforts. The point is we need to get maximum work done by our assets and elicit maximum utility to keep costs low." He said India needs to bring down its logistic cost from the existing 13%.

“I have many suggestions for air cargo movement. There is a lot to do, especially in the case of fruits, vegetables and fish. Our marine economy is worth 1 trillion. We want to scale it up to 6 trillion, but our biggest problem is transportation." An efficient air cargo ecosystem will help in exporting items like prawns from cities like Nagpur to Dubai and Singapore, he added. Gadkari said higher logistics costs have been one of the challenges for industry, with costs in India much higher than in China and the US.

He said the 12-lane Delhi-Mumbai expressway that is in the works is expected to drastically cut travel time between the two cities. “The number of trips taken by a truck will also increase and cost will go down."

gireesh.p@livemint.com

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