Cargo ‘alive & kicking’
With the opening of new routes, the specific and unique requirement for transportation of live animals has also increased. CARGO TALK finds out what hurdles a consignment of live animals entails, how these can be overcome and more.
Few people understand the large logistics exercise involved in transporting animals. Logistics fraternity, however, knows that transporting animals needs a strategy and knowledge necessary to make the transportation safe and humane. In India, live animals are transported by via modes, ie air, rail and road. Over the last 15 years in the country, Live Animal logistics technology has advanced dramati- cally. Manpreet Singh Dahri, Manager - Sales and Business Development, Namaste Aviation, said, “Today, the industry has no problem bringing Live Animals to a warehouse and delivering it within 24 hours. Export of hatching eggs and day-old chicks has increased for all parts of world out of India. Major movements out of India are for Gulf countries, African countries, Nepal and some of Fareast destinations.” He said increased inland air transport has helped to connect live animals shipment from different countries and opened new routes for live animal logistics out of India. “India is slowing moving towards the top tier of live animal logistics-friendly nations globally with more airports and air freight stations in hinterlands,” he said.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has specified global standards for transportation of live animals by air. The IATA Live Animals Regulations (LAR) is an essential guide in transporting animals by air in a safe, humane and cost-effective manner. Whether you are a shipper, a freight forwarder, an airline, or an animal care professional, the LAR is a must for transporting animals humanely and in compliance with airline regulations and animal welfare standards.
What LAR entails:
Up-to-date airline and government requirements pertaining to the transport of live animals
Requirements related to handling, marking and labeling
Information about the necessary documentation needed when transporting live animals
A comprehensive classification of animal species along with the container specifications required for their transport
Guidelines for the non-air transport of live animals and plants
A major challenge is correct documentation related to various country regulations Air transportation of live animals is governed by IATA's Live Animal Regulations
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Talking about the requirements for transportation of live animals,
Pradeep Panicker, Chief Commercial Officer – AERO, Delhi International Airport (P) Limited, said, “Air transportation of live animal is more organised and is governed by IATA’s Live Animal Regulations, under proviso of which airlines book, handle and uplift. The animals can be carried either through passenger terminal on payment of applicable charges or they can be booked in cargo terminal.” “Few airlines even allow speci- fied type of pets in the passenger cabin. Cargo terminals at the airport generally have dedicated area for handling of the live animals,” he added.
Talking about the current scenario of live animals logistics industry in India, Vipan Jain, Regional manager – Logistics, South Asia & Middle East, Lufthansa Cargo, said, ‘The live animal industry in India is still quite limited. The business is more related to expiates moving with their families in India and getting with them their pets such as cats and dogs. Hence, there is a minor increase of pet movement in the recent years.” Corresponding to this increase, Jain said, “There is also an increase of professional touch and specialised people in this sector who are spreading the awareness on pet relocation.”
The IGI Airport has recently opened a helpdesk to ensure a friendly journey for pets, taking care of formalities including quarantine, passport, Custom clearance, travel (domestic and international), flight booking, pick, drop, inspection and consultation. The Help Desk also provides physical handling of the pet during check-in at airline counter and facilitates security.
Director (PetFly) Veterinarian & International Pet Travel Expert, said, “Now a day’s pet owners are concerned about their pet's well being and safety during the travel. Thus, the industry is still learning and evolving with latest trends and equipments for pet's safety and comfort.”
“People moving back to India on transfer of residence are entitled to get a maximum of two pets,” Jain said.
Despite various developments with regard to animal transportation, there are several challenges yet to be addressed. Only six airports in India have animal quarantine facility and can handle complete imports as well as exports of pets. At some airports like CCU, live cargo movements are mostly constrained up to live crabs to Far East and on very few instances, live pets are handled for both import and exports.
Anand Yedery, Regional Cargo Manager – South Asia, Middle East & Africa, Cathay Pacific Airways said, “The infrastructure at some airports or cargo terminals is a challenge.”
“A major challenge is correct documentation related to various country regulations pertaining to health checks and the necessary approvals from the government or designated veterinarian before the commencement of the journey,” Jain said, adding, “The shipper must check for the requirement before sending their animals to and from other countries.”
When asked about challenges you face while transporting live animals, Choudhary said, “Pet friendly cabs are difficult to find and airport staff is also not pet friendly. Facilities for pets are still lacking by far at the international and domestic airports in comparison to western countries.”
What is required to make animal logistics easier?
According to Panicker, the pet has to be carried in kennel of appropriate size and strength having arrangements of food and water and proper locking arrangements to prevent its escape. Handling and carriage under proper ambient temperature as well as oxygen supply should not be ignored at any cost. “During air carriage, a pet may face longer duration of air travel with intervening transit halt at an airport too. The concerned airline should take care of its all needs such as walking, freshening, refilling of food and water bowls and also medical needs, if required,” he said. Choudhary listed thefollowing points that should be considered before relocating animals to domestic and foreign cities: • Utmost safety and comfort • Creating awareness about travel of pets, which is now becoming a general trend Informing pet owners about the rules and regulations to be
However, there are several factors that can drive growth in this sector. The transportation has become more user friendly with few companies providing exclusive facilities to transport pets. According to Jain, modern infrastructure, separate animal clearance terminal or lounge, more trained professionals in industry and more transparency and electronic mode of various permissions will facilitate the customers and drive growth in this sector.
“Growth in this sector cannot be created however a combination of simplified process, better facility and events like the Derby, dog shows, etc can drive further growth in this sector,” Yedrey said.
“Establishment of proper care and handling facilities at the airport for departing, arriving and transiting animals and simpler regulatory clearances can alsoadd to the growth,” Panicker added.
Vipan Jain Regional manager – Logistics, South Asia & Middle East, Lufthansa Cargo
Pradeep Panicker Chief Commercial Officer – AERO Delhi International Airport (P) Limited
Director, (PetFly) Veterinarian & International Pet Travel Expert
Dr S K Choudhary
Manager, Sales and Business Development, Namaste Aviation
Manpreet Singh Dahri