‘Indian IATA agents must stand & collaborate with each other as domain experts’

“Freight forwarders, especially the Indian IATA agents, must understand their own importance as domain experts who could make a lot of difference to the trading community, rather than just focusing on rates and credits,” says Samir J Shah, Director, JBS Jeena Logistics. “Since the Indian freight forwarders don’t project themselves as domain experts, it has resulted in other international stakeholders looking down upon us. To avoid this situation and to be able to perform better, I feel it’s high time we start supporting each other rather than being competitors because unless we go out and tell the world about our capabilities, their view of us is not going to change,” Shah adds. Today, international custodians, they take us for granted. Customs officials at the top levels are trying their best to bring in changes, but there’s so much resistance at the lower level, which unfortunately is supported by us because we as normal IATA agents are not in a position, because of so many market forces, and the way international exporters behave with us, we are not in a position to stand up and say, no, it’s not possible. So I think we might still have to undergo a little bit more trouble before we all start realizing that we are indispensable and we can show the rest of the stakeholders our usefulness, our utility and the fact that they need to understand that without us, their cargoes are not going to move,” he adds.