After a break since 2019, and with the added challenges caused by the pandemic and global politics, the two-day long Caspian Cargo Summit at JW Marriott Absheron came back strong, reigniting the enthusiasm for international cargo transportation. This exciting event gathered nearly 400 delegates from 42 countries, in the heart of Baku city and turned it into a global hub for valuable discussions and exchanges of expertise. It was a crucial meeting point for industry leaders, experts, professionals, and dedicated cargo enthusiasts, all working together to shape the future of global cargo logistics.
The event was welcomed and hosted by home carrier, Silk Way West Airlines, and was splendidly organized by the outstanding team of Euroavia International. Greeted by the very hospitable Lars-Gunnar Comen on behalf of the organizers, the delegates were able to already discover the venue and casually network in the course of the cocktail evening. The following morning, it was upon the Deputy Minister of Digital Development and Transport of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Rahman Hummadov, to officially open the summit.
Azerbaijan’s growing logistical attractiveness
In his address to the delegates, Mr Hummadov referred to the strategic location that the country of Azerbaijan has – for both Rail and Air Cargo. In this regard, the Deputy Minister added that a multitude of infrastructure projects are currently unfolding to improve the advancement of the region, its overall attractiveness, and its connectivity within global supply chains.
The conference featured several discussions between key industry stakeholders representing global players such as: Airbus, Alibaba, ACS Airshop, Boeing, Dnata, Embraer, KALES, Hactl, Turkish Airlines, GE Aerospace, and more.
e-commerce and more
The summit speakers and delegates contributed and engaged in fruitful discussions about the future of cargo aircraft and next-generation engines, while also highlighting the importance of sustainability and innovation in logistics, as well as the related supply chains. Of particular note was the emphasis on the role of e-commerce as a driver of the industry´s future, with the Vice President of Silk Way West Airlines (Asia & Pacific), Jenny Zhao, mentioning that these days, electronic commerce constitutes one of the core and very important business channels in China.
Wolfgang Meier, President of Silk Way West Airlines, has presented an inspiring vision for Silk Way West Airlines, outlining their ambitious goal to integrate state-of-the-art B777F aircraft into their modernized fleet by 2029. This expansion project is not only set to increase capacity and connect the Baku hub to strategic destinations but also to align with essential industry sustainability goals and standards, the executive emphasized. Wolfgang Meier also shared a light-hearted joke, suggesting that for the project to run successfully, the airplane orders must arrive on time.
Another hot topic of discussion was the growing relevance of Artificial Intelligence in the world of air cargo and logistics. Vitaly Smilianets, CEO of Awery Aviation Software and distinguished AI expert, pointed out how the correct application of the tools provided by Artificial Intelligence can transform air cargo into a more efficient industry. In this regard, he elaborated on the necessity to make the processes of air cargo more accessible to the people involved by developing smartphone friendly applications and interfaces.
In addition to the discussions, the social element was also well represented at the Caspian Cargo Summit. Here, one of the definite highlights of the Caspian Cargo Summit was the magnificent Gala Dinner, which was hosted for all the delegates at Gulustan Palace. This occasion not only provided an excellent opportunity for the delegates to recharge after the busy schedule, but also gave an incredible insight into the rich culture of the host country through masterful performances on the stage by local artists.
The entire conference was beautifully brought to an end with an organized city tour through the enchanting streets of Baku. This excursion gave delegates a chance to explore the city's historical landmarks and get a taste of its rich cultural heritage. Every stone and corner in Baku holds a unique history waiting to be discovered, making the city an impeccable host for a global event like the Caspian Cargo Summit, while leaving the delegates already looking forward to the next Cargo Summit.
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