Issue 8 2019 - FBJNA


A forkliſt operator at Hawaiian Air Cargo’s 3,200 sq. ſt. warehouse at HNL. (Hawaiian Air Cargo photo.)

Air Cargo Gives Assurance to Perishables Shippers

By Karen E. Thuermer

FACT: The longer perishables take to be delivered; the more likely quality will suffer. FACT: Perishables should be

delivered in a timely manner. FACT: Many perishables

importers/exporters utilize air transport but have not been 100% satisfied. Transporting

tarmac and arrive spoiled. Uncertainties associated


via air has complications. For one, airfreight space may be booked, but the produce is not ready for harvest. Restaurants may be promoting premium dishes, but deliveries may be delayed due to bad weather. Or a shipment may sit on a hot

with air transport are many and complicated by the cold chain requirements varying from product to product. Asparagus is especially delicate since its temperature must be maintained during cargo handling. In damp weather (rain, snow), the asparagus must be protected from moisture, or there’s a risk of premature spoilage where the

asparagus a spears may

become rubbery and mushy. It’s

delicate balancing act that, to be completely

successful, requires every party along the cold chain to act within accordance. Ocean freight has chipped

into the air cargo slice of this

business by utilizing

temperature-controlled units that can maintain a specific temperature during the long transit. But

as Andreas Pauker,

spokesman for Lufthansa Cargo says, “Transporting perishables by air is simply incomparably faster.

In the

first place, this makes it possible to obtain many fruits that have ripened on the plant and can give consumers a much more authentic and

intense taste experience.” Ocean transit may offer

value, but industry executives adds that transit in controlled- atmosphere containers also impacts taste. “A mango shipped by air has a different taste and quality than one shipped by sea,” says Uta Frank, product manager for Lufthansa Cargo’s Frankfurt-based


perishables division. “The decision of whether to ship by air or sea comes down to what value a producer is willing to put over taste.” Exacerbated by growing

demand for perishables worldwide and the longer

distances many varieties must be shipped, air carriers and airports are making big inroads to ensure speed, quality, and customer satisfaction when it comes to this commodity group. One is IATA’s new CEIV “Fresh” certification program.

CEIV Fresh

Given the big success of the CEIV Pharma certification program, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) expanded this program this March to include CEIV “Fresh” for perishables products. IATA officials explain that

the CEIV Fresh program was “created to improve the processes for transporting perishables by air and, ultimately, to grow air cargo business for perishables.”

It was also designed to enhance standardization of handling and transportation of cargo (in this case perishables), reinforce trust through transparency and communication, and improve welfare and safety through appropriate quality and risk management. “Perishable goods are 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 CEO. To date,

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