Dangerous goods, other specialty cargo business grows at PACTL

The Pharma Storage Area at PACTL’s Cool Center. PACTL recently was recertified for CEIV Pharma.

During a panel discussion on specialty cargo handling at Cargo Facts Asia in Shanghai last month, Christian Haug, Vice President, Shanghai Pudong International Airport Cargo Terminal Co., Ltd. (PACTL), said that dangerous goods (DG) handling at Shanghai Pudong Airport (PVG) is becoming a bigger business, having grown to represent about 3% of its cargo handle.

Improved handling standards for dangerous good generally, and lithium batteries particularly, are the main driver of DG growth at PACTL, according to Haug, who emphasized that “the industry’s understanding of how to handle commodities has come a long way.” Some industry leaders have been skeptical of the importance of instituting industry-wide handling standards for specialty cargo, as reported by our sister publication, Air Cargo World. Haug, however, reiterated during the panel that “PACTL is supportive of CEIV,” IATA’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators certifications for perishables, pharmaceutical and live animals handling.

PACTL recently completed its recertification under the CEIV Pharma program. Additionally, in December of last year, became the first air cargo terminal to adopt IATA’s DG AutoCheck system, which digitally checks the compliance of the shipper’s declaration for DG against the rules and regulations in IATA’s Dangerous Goods Regulations.

Looking to the future at PACTL, Haug said the handler plans to “focus on perishables and dangerous goods probably for the next few years,” and within the next five years, plans to build a new e-commerce facility at PVG.

Much of the DG, and some of the perishables growth, will come from increased utilization of PACTL West, which was jointly established by PACTL, Air China Ltd. and SHK Beijing Logistics Development Ltd. and began operation in December 2008.

PACTL Terminal 1 is the handler’s original terminal, launched in 1999, and includes the PACTL Cool Center with 3,500 square meters of storage space, as well as DG storage of 128 square meters. PACTL West presents PACTL significant growth opportunities for its DG business, with ten DG rooms and DG storage of 670 square meters. The new terminal is also equipped to handle other types of specialty cargo, including live animals, valuable goods and human remains.

Regarding the CEIV recertification process, Haug said that although PACTL already had the structures, procedures and team in place, it still required a large amount of effort and months of hard work. Nevertheless, he referred to supply chain standards for sensitive cargo as a “must have,” adding, “What I like about it is that it’s the entire industry, and every stakeholder is involved.”