Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) is one of the first two cargo handling agents in the world to achieve the new IATA CEIV Fresh accreditation – which was launched this week.
The handler is part of the Airport Authority Hong Kong initiative to make the airport the world’s first CEIV Fresh hub. It was presented with its certificate at IATA’s World Cargo Symposium in Singapore this week.
Hactl began preparations for IATA CEIV Fresh in October 2018, with key staff undergoing training by IATA in November, and the company making a number of refinements to its terminal and processes. Assessment and validation were then carried out in December 2018 and January 2019 respectively.
Hactl created a new, fast-track ‘Fresh Lane’ through its handling processes, designed to create an organised and structured journey through its facility, and so minimise the time taken to unload perishable cargo and either release it to customers, or place it in temperature-controlled storage.
The Fresh Lane is modelled on Hactl’s highly-successful ‘Golden Route’, which was introduced for the expedited handling of pharmaceuticals in 2013, and won it the first WHO GDP and IATA CEIV Pharma accreditations in Hong Kong.
Hactl’s new perishables handling procedures are based around the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) concept, which identifies and deals with potential threats to perishables safety.
The over-riding aim of HACCP is to minimise the amount of perishables cargo which becomes unfit for consumption during transit.
Hactl identified four such CCP within its operations, which have been successfully dealt with through, for example, the use of thermal dollies to maintain optimum temperatures. Among other upgrades are the segregation of different perishable commodities through dedicated truck docks, and the mapping and visual marking of optimum storage positions in its cool rooms (its so-called ‘Blue Belt’).
Dedicated active ULD charging areas have also been installed, already stringent hygiene and pest-control practices have been tightened further, and suppliers have been instructed on what they must do to comply with the new standard.
Hactl senior manager for safety, sustainability and quality assurance, Benny Siu said: “The IATA training was an excellent starting point to ensure we understood the standard, and it gave us the opportunity to raise our own questions after reading the IATA PCR and IATA CEIV Fresh Audit Checklist. This enabled us to make a prompt start on the certification process.
“With CEIV Fresh, you have to forget the many years for which you may have handled perishable cargo: it’s a hurdle if you think in this way. What we have done with CEIV Fresh is to further enhance our existing high standards through careful self-scrutiny, detailed planning, and making modifications where required.”
Hactl chief executive, Wilson Kwong, attributed Hactl’s success in achieving accreditation so quickly, to the company’s customary teamwork and constant determination to drive the highest standards and best practice.
He added: “Certification such as CEIV Fresh is very useful to benchmark the quality and standard of an organization, and Hactl applauds both IATA’s initiative in driving the adoption of CEIV Fresh throughout the industry, and HKIA’s leadership of this project in Hong Kong.
“We urge all air cargo businesses to join this movement towards uniformity, which will create higher service standards for perishables handling across the industry.”