Fresh approach for Hong Kong

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is the first airport community in the world to be certified as an IATA CEIV Fresh Partner Airport.

Perishable cargo volumes grew about 12% at the airport last year and are expected to keep growing. Perishables make up about 8% of total air cargo volume.

Two of HKIA’s cargo terminals, Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (HACTL) and Cathay Pacific Services Limited (CPSL), have achieved the certification and Cathay Pacific, the home-based carrier at HKIA, is expected to complete validation of the certification within a few months.

The IATA Center of Excellence for Perishable Logistics (CEIV Fresh) certification is a global standard to ensure excellence in the transportation and handling of perishable air cargo, which requires stringent temperature-controlled process at globally assured standards

The certification process includes staff training, on-site assessment of facilities and handling processes to identify gaps as well as a final validation to ensure compliance to the standard.

Hactl, which was presented with its certificate at IATA’s World Cargo Symposium in Singapore, 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.

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.

Wilson Kwong, Hactl chief executive, said: “Certification such as CEIV Fresh is very useful to benchmark the quality and standard of an organisation, 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.”

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