Hactl First to Pilot New IATA Handling Audit System
Hong Kong’s largest independent cargo handler, Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) is the first cargo terminal operator (CTO) in the world to complete a pilot for a new Smart Facility Operational Capacity Audit (SFOC) devised by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
SFOC is part of the Smart Facility program and will use a multi-tiered validation process which will provide total transparency on capacities and services offered by a CTO. The program has the real potential to save thousands of man-hours each year that are currently used for auditing.
Due to the scale and complexity of their operations, the broad types of cargo they handle, the number of carriers (over 100) they serve and the company’s highly-developed quality management systems, Hactl was the obvious choice as the launch test site for the new audit system.
Global Head of Cargo for IATA, Glyn Hughes explained, “The IATA Smart Facility Operational Capacity Audit (SFOC) pilot with Hactl was successful. The feedback received from the Hactl team was valuable in fine-tuning the audit questions, auditor actions and guidance ensuring a consistently high audit quality across the program.”
Mr. Hughes further added, “Smart Facility Operational Capacity Audit reports will enable carriers to complement their risk analysis data, and conduct more focused on-site audits that are shorter, less resource-intensive and less frequent.”
The primary focus for the new program will be to reduce carrier audit complexity by 50%, in turn reducing the burden on cargo terminal operators. In addition to the SFOC on-site audit, the Smart Facility program will encompass remote validation of handling facilities’ equipment and infrastructure.
Chief Operating Officer for Hactl, Tan Chee Hong said, “The Smart Facility Operational Capacity Audit will provide a simple, public register of all handler’s facilities and capabilities, supported by benchmarking against universally accepted industry standards. This can only result in the spread of best practice, and competition based on quality rather than price.
“We were very happy to support this excellent initiative from IATA because Hactl is in favour of any measure that promotes the adoption of high and consistent standards throughout the air cargo industry. We must all eradicate any weak links in air cargo supply chains, for the collective good of the industry – and this is a very effective move towards that goal.”
IATA Project Manager – Smart Facility, Marc Voelkl added, “The IATA Smart Facility Operational Capacity Audit will provide assurance to the air cargo industry that the published infrastructure, equipment and operating procedure information is complete and accurate, having validated capacity information of Cargo Terminal Operators publicly available will facilitate better matchmaking between carriers and handlers, and assist in network planning and development, catering precisely to the shippers’ needs.”