U-Freight Ltd. recently became one of the first freight forwarders to get one of its logistics hubs in Hong Kong certified by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (CAD) as a Regulated Air Cargo Screening Facility (RACSF).
In a statement, the Hong Kong-based freight solution provider said over the past two years, the U-Freight Group installed an X-ray machine at its Golden Bear Industrial Centre in Hong Kong, giving staff adequate time to gain experience in the scanning process, as well as helping to identify prohibited/suspect products inside the ever-increasing number of e-commerce parcels it handles.
A second enhanced X-ray machine has been installed in July 2019, which can scan consignments up to pallet size. The company modified its export operations warehouse to accommodate the existing X-ray machine, as well as the newly purchased one.
CAD launched the RACSF scheme for off-airport locations in October 2018 to facilitate the establishment and operation of cargo screening at off-airport sites, in order to help the industry meet the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) policy of implementing security checks for all airfreight shipments by June 30, 2021.
These locations will ease the pressure to screen airfreight at Hong Kong International Airport’s busy cargo terminals as volumes there continue to grow in the coming years.
“The U-Freight Group fully supports the ICAO aviation security requirements and has worked closely with CAD, Hong Kong Airport Authority, Cargo Terminal Operator and HAFFA in making the necessary preparations to make sure that we enhance our air cargo security regime to meet the new international aviation security requirements," said Simon Wong, UFL’s chief executive officer.
He added that the establishment of off-airport screening facilities in Hong Kong will enable air cargoes to be screened at the existing warehouses or similar premises of the air cargo industry before such cargoes are transported to the airport for loading onto aircraft.
“We were very keen to capitalize on this opportunity, so it is great news that we have become one of the first freight forwarders and logistics companies to have been accredited by CAD,” Wong added.
The RACSF program, which was developed after trade consultations, covers criteria such as equipment, training, and supervision of screening personnel and site security, as well as post-screening handling and transportation of shipments.
U-Freight said as part of the application, it wrote a comprehensive set of working procedures for how we would operate as a RACSF, nominated two staff as accountable screening personnel within our RACSF, and also enrolled our staff on the relevant X-ray screening training courses.
Hong Kong International Airport, the world's busiest cargo airport, reported that its cargo throughput last month dropped 11.5% year-on-year to 382,000 tonnes amid global trade uncertainties.
Transshipments and imports during the period declined by 19% and 15% year-on-year as volumes for Southeast Asia and mainland China decreased "most significantly" among key trading regions, it added.
Over the first eight months of the year, cargo throughput at the HKIA was at 3.08 million tonnes, down 7.4% compared to the same period last year.