First companies awarded IATA Fresh certification

IATA and the Hong Kong cargo community celebrate the first CEIV Fresh certification

The first companies have passed IATA’s CEIV Fresh certification programme for the handling of perishable cargo.

At the IATA World Cargo Symposium, IATA revealed that Cathay Pacific Services Limited (CPSL) and Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (HACTL) are the first organisations to obtain CEIV Fresh certification.

The airline, Cathay Pacific, is also expected to achieve certification in May this year, while Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) has been recognised as a partner airport.

The CEIV Fresh programme is primarily based on the IATA Perishable Cargo Regulations (PCR) which combines professional regulatory and operational input from industry and government experts. 

“Perishable goods is a growing market for air cargo. Ensuring that these delicate and short shelf-life products reach the customer unspoiled with minimal waste and loss is essential. Shippers will have assurance that CEIV Fresh certified companies are operating to the highest quality and standards in the transport of perishable products,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and chief executive.

IATA head of cargo Glynn Hughes added that around 25% of perishables are written off as they are transported along the supply chain.

Hughes said: “We took a community approach to developing CEIV Fresh recognising that the successful shipment requires the alignment of many stakeholders.

“Shippers can have peace of mind knowing that every entity handling their goods is operating to the same standards. Understanding the value of this to the success of its customers, the Airport Authority Hong Kong pioneered the world’s first CEIV Fresh certified airport community.”

Fred Lam, chief executive, Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK), said: “We are delighted to be the first airport community worldwide recognised by IATA under the CEIV Fresh programme, which is a big encouragement to and affirmation of the capability of the Hong Kong airport community in handling perishable products.

“HKIA is the world’s busiest cargo airport since 2010. With the new certification, HKIA is well-placed to capture the increasing growth opportunities in the market for fresh and perishable goods.”

In 2018, HKIA handled over 380,000 tonnes of perishables, accounting for about 8% of the total cargo volume of HKIA, marking a year-on-year increase of 12% from 2017.

To support the continuous growth, AAHK said it would ensure high-quality specialty facilities and services are available for perishable air cargo. It is  providing additional cool dollies to make a total of over 30 for use by the whole airport community and is also building apron shelters to protect the perishables from ambient weather elements.

The two cargo terminal operators, meanwhile, offer cold rooms set at tailored temperatures for various kinds of perishable cargo, such as live seafood, fruits and vegetables, and frozen meat.

Their staff training and handling process have also been assessed and certified for their compliance with the global industry standards.

Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific’s director commercial and Cargo Ronald Lam said: “Congratulations to CPSL. IATA’s CEIV Fresh certification is an achievement that our airline aims to emulate in the near future.

“A collaborative approach among all stakeholders enables the airfreight community to provide meticulous care for fresh produce during transit. It will not only provide superior value to our customers but also contribute to the success of Hong Kong as a key international airfreight hub for perishables.”

The programme was revealed at an IATA media day in December 2017.