Special cargo refers to the freight that requires special handling/protection such as live animals, detonators, and even hazardous items. In fact, there are many different classes of special cargo which include perishable items, human remains, valuable freight (VAL), bulky and oversized cargo, dangerous goods, live animals, art/museum exhibits, pharmaceuticals and many more. These types of cargo require special handling, intricate regulations, and aircraft considerations must be well-thought-out before it is shipped to any destination globally. Considering theses special requirements, this paper will briefly discuss just three of the nine categories (live animals, dangerous cargo, and wet cargo).
Animals have been transported by air since the 1930s. It is now concerdered the most human means of transportion over long distances. IATA live animal regulations (LAR) manages live cargo and is sanctioned by the International Animal Health Code Commission of the Global Organization For Animal Health. For the few airliners who are willing to transport live animals must be willing to comply with the LAR absolutely and all other government regulations that apply to the transit, origin, or destination country (Cargile, 2017).
Before the transport of live animals, consideration of the aircraft to be used must be factored. Shippers are subject to ensure that animals travel in a safe condition. One must also ensure the plane provides a comfortable atmosphere to the animal in-flight. One of the key environmental components that is obligatory to be put in place is the temperature and air control within the airplane (Schramm, 2012).
Qualified and experienced experts must also handle animals in transit.
Such staff needs to be trained to meet the present IATA Live Animal Regulations. This ensures that animals are transported and carefully treated to guarantee minimum stress and utmost safety (Wensveen, 2012).
Dangerous cargo refers to articles or substances that can pose risks to health, property, safety, or the environment and is indicated in the records of dangerous/hazardous products in the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations. Some hazardous goods have been declared too dangerous to be ferried by any airplane under any circumstances. There are some that are forbidden under ordinary circumstances but can be carried after approvals from the countries concerned. Some of the dangerous cargoes are restricted on every cargo aircraft. However, most of the high-risk cargo is safely transported via airplane as long as some specific requirements are met (Burlingame, 2014).
In handling dangerous cargo, the packaging is a critical component to ensuring safe transport of such goods by air. For hazardous good, packaging instructions usually require the utilization of UN Performance-Test Description Packaging. Nevertheless, these are not necessary when dangerous products are transported in limited quantities within the dictate of Limited Quantity ‘Y’ Packaging Instructions. Additionally, the amount of hazardous cargo allowed in these packaging is tightly limited by the regulation to minimize the risk in case an accident happens (Schramm, 2012).
The appropriate declaration of the hazardous items by the shippers makes sure that the transportation chain is aware of the dangerous goods transported. This guarantees that such cargo are loaded correctly and handled, and what to do in case an accident or incident occurs either on the ground or in-flight (Schramm, 2012).
Wet cargo refers to particular goods having liquids (exclusive of products under dangerous cargo category). Some of the products in moist class include liquids within the waterproof container. It also includes food packaged with wet ice, fresh, chilled, or frozen fish/meat, seafood and vegetables that can leak fluids, live animals (Wensveen, 2012).
Since some of the products in this class are perishable goods and live animals, the provisions of IATA Live Animals Regulation must be applied where necessary. The quality and preservation methods used in carrying of some these products must comply with the country of origin, transit, and destiny (Burlingame, 2014).
Some of the goods in the wet category involve perishable goods. This aspect makes air cargo suitable means of transportations of such products. The reliability, speed, economics, and controlled conditions of ferrying by air enables exporters to service the present markets and venture new avenues. Moist cargo requires special handling and involves specific packaging and other aspects of the shipping process. To avert the risk of delay, most of the wet shipment travel as booked cargo. Exporters/Importers of wet cargo are encouraged to reserve space for such consignments and promptly to allow proper plans by the airlines (Schramm, 2012).
In conclusion, there are different categories of special cargo such as dangerous cargo, live animal cargo, and wet goods. Each of these classes of special cargo requires special handling and consideration during the transportation process. All international and local regulations of the country of origin, destination, or origin must always be adhered.