Cathay Pacific Cargo has taken a major step forward in improving transparency in the air cargo journey with the introduction of two new ‘milestones’ that form part of the Cargo iQ Master Operating Plan (MOP).
These new milestones – FOW (Freight Out of Warehouse Control) and FIW (Freight Into Warehouse Control) – offer greater oversight to stakeholders in air cargo and, ultimately, a more accurate assessment of ground-handling performance in the handover between the ramp operating handlers and the cargo terminal – and vice-versa – for both imports and exports at air waybill (AWB) level.
Both FOW and FIW are currently being used to monitor the handover process for both imports and exports between Hong Kong International Airport’s Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal and the ramp handler, fully owned subsidiary Hong Kong Airport Services Limited (HAS). The aim is to adopt both milestones throughout the network in the coming months.
‘We are delighted to be an early adopter of these two new milestones, because we are dedicated to enhancing the quality control on our handling processes with the accountable parties,’ said Cathay’s General Manager Cargo Service Delivery Frosti Lau, who also sits on the Cargo iQ board and has played a major role in shaping these latest developments.
Cargo iQ is a not-for-profit group supported by The International Air Transport Association (IATA); its members are made up of major airlines, freight forwarders, ground handling agents, trucking companies and IT providers who work together to clarify and standardise all air cargo journeys. Cathay Pacific has had a seat on the IATA Cargo iQ board and has been an active contributor to the working group since it was first established as Cargo 2000, a quarter of a century ago.
As an integral part of Cargo iQ, the MOP, which IATA has endorsed as a recommended industry practice, lays out the standard end-to-end process of transporting air cargo from shipper to consignee. As the latest messaging standards in the end-to-end airfreight shipment journey, FOW and FIW bring the total number of milestones in the MOP to 20, shedding more light on the air cargo process.
Information visibility has become a prerequisite in air cargo,’ said Aldous Chung, Head of Quality at Cathay Pacific Services Ltd (CPSL), which operates the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal (below). ‘We are always looking for ways to refine our procedures to enhance the reliability and efficiency of our operations. By implementing the FIW and FOW milestones, we are enhancing the transparency of terminal operations and this will allow us to better measure performance for continuous improvement.’
Previously, the handover between the ramp and the warehouse required users to compute the timings based on the unit load device’s (ULD) handover time, which was taken from the raw data of the warehouse operating system. Now the same system can share that information at AWB level for every flight. This system enhancement was deployed in May and the FIW and FOW messaging was activated at the start of July.
Cathay Pacific Cargo is trialling these milestones in its own systems through an interface developed by Global Logistics System (HK) Co Ltd (GLSHK), and is planning to use the additional visibility from FOW and FIW to measure and enhance performance and so deliver a better service to customers.
Pain points addressed
This is the ultimate aim of the MOP and its milestones, as Laura Rodriguez, Manager Implementation and Quality Assurance at Cargo iQ, explains: ‘With this information, the industry will be able to identify pain points and make vital improvements to operational processes. It also gives us, for the first time, the possibility to visualise the complete warehouse process from start to end within Cargo iQ,’ she says.
‘With its commitment to implement these new events, Cathay Pacific and its partners in Hong Kong are reinforcing the value of monitoring the point of handover from warehouse to ramp and vice-versa. We are currently supporting all our members in the implementation of these milestones and we look forward to seeing the benefits of uptake on an industry-wide scale.’
This is very much on the agenda, as Cathay Pacific Cargo’s Lau concludes: ‘We look forward to rolling out these milestones globally and continuing to implement the Cargo iQ milestones with our contracted partners across our network.’