Aviation Logistics Knowledge Lecture – Brief Introduction of Special Cargo

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Aviation Logistics Knowledge Lecture – Brief Introduction of Special Cargo

The market environment this year is really day by day. It seems that apart from the Spring Festival, there are no other times that are particularly exciting. Everyone is living in torment. However, I still see that many companies organize overseas trips. Some are abroad, some are domestic. When there is no movement in the market, I will take everyone to relax. I feel that even if I don’t go out, I will not receive any goods (heart congestion)…


However, we still have to prepare, right? What if there is stock? What if an old customer wants to make a booking? What if the customer places a booking for a special cargo? Are we ready? So, today we will briefly introduce some basic knowledge of the most common special goods.


There are two kinds of goods in this world, one is General Cargo and the other is other goods. All other goods are called special goods. Special goods, as the name suggests, require special handling. The reason may be due to the nature of the cargo itself, or it may require special handling due to conditions that may arise during transportation. Next, let’s take a look at some special goods.



PER means Perishable – Refrigerated Cargo. Usually this kind of goods is found in some frozen fresh goods, or goods that have temperature requirements. The recently popular “Mr. Hema” contains a lot of fruit, meat products, refrigerated seafood, etc. If it is shipped by air, it is transported by refrigerated goods.


All PERs will have temperature requirements, and this temperature requirement needs to be reflected in the booking. But here comes the point. The temperature here cannot be a fixed temperature, it must be a temperature range. For example the most common 2-8 degrees Celsius. If a booking comes and everyone sees a fixed temperature, the booking cannot be confirmed. Because no one promises a fixed temperature, only a range of temperatures. Just imagine, if a cargo can only be controlled at one temperature, and one degree higher or lower will affect the nature or quality of the cargo, who would dare to transport it? When there is a problem with the goods, who will be responsible? So everyone should be clear, all PER goods will have a temperature range requirement, not a fixed temperature requirement.


So how to achieve the temperature requirements? There are two types here, the first is regulated using the cabin temperature and the other is achieved using a specific refrigerated ULD. We come one by one.

PER shipment (The picture came from the internet)

PER shipment (The picture came from the internet)


Temperature Control Using Cabin Temperature – Passive

Some goods, such as some common medicines, reagents, blood samples, etc. These goods require that the temperature during transportation should not be too high, but it is not necessary to achieve a temperature below zero. The temperature of the cabin is not high during transportation, so it can meet the temperature requirements of these goods. We call this method passive temperature control, which can also be simply and rudely understood as “passive temperature control”. Usually, this kind of goods will be packaged with temperature protection before entering the warehouse, especially in summer, and it will also enter the cold storage of the warehouse after entering the warehouse (need to confirm with the warehouse in advance). Because the warehouse temperature is generally high, for such temperature-controlled goods, they cannot withstand the high temperature of the warehouse. Even if it is in the cold storage, many customers will choose the time closer to the loading time to enter the warehouse. As for how close it is, it is likely to depend on whether the cargo has high temperature requirements. And in most cases, customers will choose night flights, because even if the warehouse is placed in the refrigerated warehouse, and then there is temperature control on the plane, but after the cargo is loaded, there is still a distance before boarding the plane, and there is a transitional time. files. At night, the temperature will not be so high, so that the impact on the cargo due to the outside temperature before boarding the aircraft can be minimized.


Temperature Control with Temperature Controlled ULDs – Active

This situation has also been explained before, which is to use some special ULDs to control the temperature of the goods. Common ULDs are ULDs starting with R such as RKN. This method of using ULD temperature control is the Active temperature control method, and these ULDs with temperature control are Active ULDs. The characteristic of this ULD is that it has a plug itself, which can be plugged into the cabin for continuous temperature control. Of course, the shipping price of this kind of goods will also be higher. Because there are many additional costs involved, including but not limited to: ULD rental fees, ULD delivery/return fees (depending on whether this service is provided at the origin), fees to prevent damage to ULDs, late fees for late returns and other fees. Due to the use of temperature-controlled ULD cargo, it is sensitive to temperature and the cabin temperature cannot meet the requirements. At this time, we need to implement a series of requirements such as product name, weight, and temperature requirements with customers. Generally speaking, goods using Active ULD will not be pulled, because pulling the goods means that the probability of the goods going bad is high. Most airlines do not take this risk. From the customer’s standpoint, they may have already arranged a docking person at the destination, so the flight information must be accurate. Once the goods arrive, they are immediately cleared to the destination consignee (or its agent).



AVI is another special cargo: Live Animals – Live Animals. Live animals are also easy to understand, that is, live animals (passengers are not considered live animals). For example, we lend giant pandas to a certain country and transport them by plane. Well, this panda is AVI. Or where to import some live seafood back, this is also AVI. The difference between PER here is that both AVI and PER can be seafood. The difference is that one is alive and the other is dead (or refrigerated, dormant). The simple way to judge is whether the goods will move during transportation.


AVI has higher requirements for transportation than PER. Because it is a living thing after all. If it is some larger animals, such as horses, rhinos, dolphins, etc. These animals have clear operating requirements. For example, a random animal doctor is required, enough water and food must be given before boarding the plane, whether or not to inject sedatives or how much depends on the animal’s mood, and emergency contacts must be available at both the origin and destination. method, whether the animals are prepared with health and quarantine certificates, etc. This veterinary doctor can accompany the animal on the plane without applying for a destination visa with the certificate issued by the airline. After the handover, you should return to the origin at random.

Lufthansa's LAR (The picture came from the internet)

Lufthansa’s LAR (The picture came from the internet)


Furthermore, it is necessary to confirm with the origin and destination airports whether GHA (Ground Handling Agent) has the corresponding personnel, capabilities and equipment to handle AVI cargo.

LAR label (The picture came from the internet)

LAR label (The picture came from the internet)


HUM is Human Remains. It is estimated that not many friends have contacted. This category is human remains. So far, I’ve only dealt with human remains that have been transported in coffins. But in fact, HUM includes both remains and ashes.


Speaking of this type, some friends may be more taboo. But it’s not really necessary at all. Do you remember how the first article said how to install the machine? HUM is the same way to install. First put the coffin on the ULD and fix it (very important! You don’t want to fly and break the coffin, and the body rolls around in the cabin, right), then pull it out of the outfield, and then use a platform truck to lift it up to the aircraft cabin fixed. In this process, the key point is to use a platform truck to lift it up. This process, we call it “promotion (coffin) to make a fortune”. So it’s actually quite auspicious. Of course, the customs of each place are different, and it cannot be generalized. It should be a story here.


There are not many precautions for transporting HUM, except for the basic respect for this special cargo, the rest is the operation problem. First of all, the death certificate issued by the regular hospital, the health certificate is also required, and the identity documents such as the passport of the deceased before his death; moreover, the receiving permission from the destination government is required. Then the shipping fee is confirmed, and there is basically no big problem after that.


Generally speaking, a coffin must have a single board. The most suitable for installing HUM is PLA (commonly known as half board). The reason is that this board can be operated independently whether it is loading or unloading, in order to quickly complete the transportation process. Just think, if his/her relatives are waiting at the destination, their mood must be tense and complicated. As a service provider, we should give the necessary care to these special goods.


(I wanted to put a picture here, but I couldn’t find a suitable one…)



Everyone should have heard of this product, but not everyone will have access to it. VAL is Valuable – Valuable Goods. As mentioned in the previous article, IATA has a clear definition of VAL. So how exactly should we operate expensive goods?


First of all, if it is expensive goods like gold, jewelry, and diamonds, it is not something that general freight forwarders can handle. Look for an agent who specializes in handling your valuables, as they have a whole package of solutions tailored specifically for your valuables, taking into account security and privacy issues.


Under normal circumstances, if there are expensive goods, then we all recommend customers to buy insurance. As for whether to buy third-party transportation insurance or airline insurance (IATA has regulations on relevant fees and liability clauses), it is a matter of opinion. If you want the airline’s insurance, the cost still needs to be verified with the airline. Here is a formula to calculate, and the airline’s financial department will give a number.


In operation, still take jewelry as an example. VAL is really the last to install. Usually, there will be airline staff escort, agent escort, directly to the bottom of the plane, and the goods will board the plane together with the escort personnel. If it is not large, it will be placed in a suitcase, and the escort’s hand and the suitcase will be handcuffed together to ensure safety (for this operation, my understanding is that if someone wants to rob, then Cut off this person’s hand and raise the cost of crime).


Generally, VALs are not installed on cargo planes, because of the lack of human monitoring, it is more prone to problems.


If it is other expensive goods, such as high-tech electronic products with relatively high value. Although there is no need to escort, but due to the high value of the goods, it is also necessary to play the board alone. The cost of air freight for these goods is relatively high. The safety requirements for the originating station, transit station and destination are relatively high. Monitoring is a must. And as a professional expensive freight forwarder, it must be considered comprehensively. I talked to a certain expensive cargo agent, and they had a consideration at that time: if the political situation of the transit station is not stable and the level of public security is not high enough, customers will not choose this airline.

VAL cargo (The picture came from the internet)

VAL cargo (The picture came from the internet)


Other special cargo

The special goods mentioned above are all special types of goods. Now, although they are also special goods, the special aspects are not the nature of the goods, but the points to be paid attention to in operation. Then let’s briefly explain.


HEA – Heavy Cargo – Heavy Cargo

BIG – Bulky

These two kinds of goods are required to pay attention to whether they will affect other goods in operation. When playing the board, pay attention to the matching and combination of bubbles and weights. Otherwise, the aircraft will not be able to balance.


CAO – Cargo Aircraft Only

This is also well understood. Certain goods cannot be loaded on passenger aircraft and can only be transported on cargo aircraft. For example some dangerous goods.


Now we have explained some of the most common special cargo. But many friends may ask, why is there no DG? Because DG (Dangerous Goods) is a big category, even IATA has to publish a separate book to introduce DG. Therefore, it will not be described in detail here. However, for the specific operation method, you can consult the relevant personnel of the airline and the cargo terminal.


Well, this is the end of the content of this issue. You are welcome to continue to pay attention to the public account to get the latest and review the previous air transport knowledge lectures.


NB: Karron is the owner of the “NatureCalls” Wechat Official Account.

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