Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) – Hong Kong’s major independent handler – has achieved certification under IATA CEIV Live Animals. As a result, Hactl becomes one of the very first companies to have achieved all three CEIV standards.
IATA CEIV Live Animals is a voluntary programme designed to improve competency, infrastructure and equipment, quality management and training for the handling and transportation of live animals by air. Achieving and maintaining certification involves training, assessment and validation; re-validation audits are conducted every three years.
In preparation for auditing, Hactl’s quality assurance auditors and trainers attended IATA’s 3-day “Live Animals Cargo Logistics Management” course. Hactl also modified its audit checklists and training materials to comply with the new, higher standards. Its Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were reviewed and revised after detailed internal discussion with its operations teams and other supporting departments. Finally, numerous training and briefing sessions were held to ensure all relevant staff were aware of every change.
Although Hactl has operated state-of-the-art facilities for live animals handling for many years, the process of applying for formal accreditation led to the creation of Hactl’s “Paws Track” which includes six Critical Control Points (CCPs): the Live Animals Inspection Area; South Live Animals Handling Centre; North Live Animals Handling Centre; Horse Handling Centre 1; Horse Handling Centre 2; and its Live Animals Containers.
A number of further enhancements were then made to these, including re-locating the Live Animals Inspection Area next to the Live Animal Handling Centre to improve efficiency; the modification of North- and South Live Animals Handling Centres (including storage racks, flooring and markings, and incorporating dedicated areas for venomous, dangerous and poisonous animals); and the renovation of Hactl’s Horse Handling Centre 1 (including provision of new rest facilities for veterinary staff and grooms post-flight). Horse Handling Centre 2 was reconfigured to enable it to provide instant extra capacity in the event of sudden peaks in traffic, and new fans were installed to protect horses in transit from the risk of heat stroke during Hong Kong’s hot and humid summer climate.
In addition, Hactl’s ramp animal transfer containers (re-named and labelled “Live Animals Containers” for instant recognition) were upgraded with improved ventilation and transparent viewing panels at both ends; its hygiene regimes were further tightened; and extensive refurbishment and upgrading of all its other animal handling facilities was undertaken.
Says Hactl Senior Manager – Safety, Sustainability and Quality Assurance, Benny Siu: “Hactl has always been very confident of its live animals handling capabilities; CEIV Live Animals certification has inspired us to re-visit all aspects of our services to support our drive for continuous improvement. Adopting many enhanced measures in our new certification demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing first-class services.”
Says Glyn Hughes, Global Head Cargo, IATA: “I would like to congratulate Hactl for their successful attainment of their third CEIV certification and for being one of the first ground handlers to receive the CEIV certification in the area of Live Animals transportation. Coupled with their CEIV certifications for Fresh and Pharmaceutical products, this demonstrates Hactl’s commitment to the highest standards of handling excellence for such important commodities transported. These most sensitive of cargos require the highest quality possible to handle them in a safe, secure and comfortable fashion. Well done to the entire Hactl team for such dedicated activity and the successful completion of the three CEIV programs.”
Adds Hactl Chief Executive Wilson Kwong: “We are honoured that Hactl is one of the first in the world to obtain all three IATA CEIV certifications. This recognition by such a respected external party is the best possible evidence of service quality, inspiring even greater confidence in shipping live animals through Hactl.
“People love their animals, and rightly have the highest expectations about how they should travel. Hactl’s live animals handling is about providing the best possible welfare for the animals; and it’s also about providing peace of mind to their owners.”