Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Hong Kong commits to the cool chain

Hong Kong commits to the cool chain

With volumes steadily increasing across all cool chain commodities, Hactl has established a Cool Chain Complex (CCC) to prepare the cargo handler and Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) for the market growth ahead.

READ: Hactl’s seamless Cool Chain Complex is the largest at HKIA

While this sector can be pretty volatile, with frequent peaks at short notice, as seen during Covid, it’s critical to have plentiful capacity to capitalise on the opportunity emerging within the industry.

“This is a business for which Hactl has been well-resourced for many years. We were setting standards for ourselves long before they were formalised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and International Air Transport Association (IATA),” Wilson Kwong, Chief Executive of Hactl, explained.

“When we became the first WHO Good Distribution Practices-accredited facility in Hong Kong and the first to attain CEIV Pharma status, the accreditation process was relatively straightforward as little extra work was required. That has always been how Hactl works: we identify and anticipate needs before they become demands.

“At the moment, this kind of traffic does not represent much of Hactl’s business. However, we see this as a growing segment, and given the increasing focus placed by our airline customers, it matters to us,” he added.

Swift service

A fundamental need of all temperature-controlled traffic is the maintenance of constant temperatures, and this is achieved by compressing the time taken from arrival and unloading of an aircraft to the moment when the import cargo is placed in climate-controlled storage, or handed out to the customer (and the reverse with exports). That’s why Hactl’s CCC has been designed with direct access to the ramp and dedicated truck docks on the landside.

“Our procedures also prioritise this kind of traffic: it is unloaded first and loaded last,” Kwong said. “Temperature excursions are also prevented in the CCC by providing ULD build-up and breakdown facilities within each climate zone, so the handling occurs at optimum temperatures.

“The basic premise of all Hactl services is to make our airline customers as competitive as possible and enable them to exploit every new potential revenue stream.

“This means maximising both the quality of our services and their scope. The CCC ticks both these boxes: better processing of temperature-controlled traffic.

Appropriate environment

The new facility was designed to establish a separate zone where hazardous substances, such as some pharma and bio-hazard materials, can be handled at the correct temperatures in a safe and secure environment.

“Every time Hactl adds resources and capabilities, this also complements the impressive collective proposition of Hong Kong, underscoring the airport’s uniqueness and protecting its status as the world’s top air cargo hub,” Kwong highlighted.

“If we contribute to the HKIA offering, we help attract traffic, make the cake more significant for the entire air cargo community here, and increase our competitiveness and market share.

“And as far as commitment goes, significant investments such as this signal that Hactl is here to stay for the long term. Our community needs and deserves this evidence of our commitment.”

Picture of James Graham

James Graham

James Graham is an award-winning transport media journalist with a long background in the commercial freight sector, including commercial aviation and the aviation supply chain. He was the initial Air Cargo Week journalist and retuned later for a stint as editor. He continues his association as editor of the monthly supplements. He has reported for the newspaper from global locations as well as the UK.

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