Monday, March 11, 2013

Live Cargo Always A Tricky Transport Shipment by Air Freight

(and more so when the consignment is delicate thoroughbred animals)
Shipping News Feature

HONG KONG – The transport of animals, whether by land, sea or air freight is usually both tricky and controversial but when it comes to thoroughbred animals every care has to be taken to ensure the welfare of the delicate and extremely valuable creatures. Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) last month handled the largest horse shipment on a single flight in its 37-year history. A shipment of 63 show-jumpers, which touched down on February 24th, were flown in from Liege as arranged by Lufthansa Cargo on a B747 chartered freighter to take part in the first Longines Hong Kong Masters at AsiaWorld-Expo from 28 February to 2 March - Hong Kong's first international show jumping event, and the only five-star accredited competition on the equestrian calendar to take place in Asia.

On arrival in Hong Kong, the horses were unloaded from the aircraft and transferred to Hactl’s Livestock Handling Centre, located to minimise exposure to potentially stressful ramp noise. The horses were transferred in their air stalls to the Centre, where they negotiated a gently-sloping ramp, essential to prevent leg injuries, onto waiting air-conditioned horse-boxes arranged by Hong Kong Jockey Club. Hactl deployed a team of highly-trained professionals to assist in handling the shipment. Ruediger Helm, Regional Director, South China and Taiwan of Lufthansa Cargo said:

"We were delighted to be appointed as the official carrier to handle this very valuable shipment for such a prestigious and exciting new event. Although we regularly carry such valuable cargo, this was one of the largest movements we have handled to date. We thank Hactl for their major contribution to its successful outcome."

Hactl Chief Executive Mark Whitehead added:

"We are grateful for the opportunity to work with Lufthansa Cargo on this special shipment. And I am pleased that all horses were safe and healthy upon arrival and transferred smoothly from loading to the horse-boxes. We prepared for the post-event shipment, ensuring that all horses return home comfortably.

"Show jumping in Hong Kong and Asia is fast growing in popularity. We expect such shipments to become more frequent in the future, and are confident that the success of this movement, combined with the HK$14 million investment we have made in our live animal handling facility, will contribute to Hong Kong's appeal as a major international show-jumping venue."