Friday, February 19, 2016

A Freight Forwarders 'Nightmare' Cargo Can Prove a Most Satisfying Exercise

No Jetlag for the Thoroughbred Herd
Shipping News Feature
HONG KONG – We have stressed before the delicate nature of shipping livestock which, for an average freight forwarder or cargo handler can be a fearful exercise. The pressure is even greater when the livestock in question consists of a veritable herd of some of the world’s most valuable thoroughbred horses, as was the case this week when the 64 competitors for this year’s Longines Masters of Hong Kong arrived.

Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) was once again chosen to handle the horses which are appearing at Asia’s biggest and most prestigious equestrian event between 19 – 21 February. This is the fourth year the event has been held in the Special Administrative Region and this year was the culmination of a 2016 intercontinental series which began in Los Angeles, before moving to Paris. Hactl has handled the Longines Masters equine entrants in all its four years in Hong Kong.

As in 2015, the official carrier for the event was Emirates Airline, for which Hactl is the cargo handling agent in Hong Kong. Emirates transported the horses from Liege via Dubai World Central to Hong Kong, arriving on 15 February. Hactl unloaded the horses in their air stalls, and transferred them through its dedicated animal handling centre, loading them onto waiting horseboxes using special low-angle ramps to avoid injury.

To return the horses after the event the process is reversed and the entire operation, and the preparation of the Longines Masters equine competitors, was coordinated from Belgium by European Horse Services, one of the world’s leading equestrian shipping agents. Hactl Chief Executive Mark Whitehead commented:

“It is great to see this prestigious and unique event back in Hong Kong once more, and we are delighted to have worked with Emirates and European Horse Services to ensure that the very valuable entrants were in perfect condition to take part, and then returned home safely afterwards. It seems horses handle jetlag very well!”