Cool Chain Association probes airline reluctance

Why have airlines so far proved reluctant to apply for Cool Chain Association accreditation? That was one of the topics being discussed at the association’s fifth annual general meeting at France’s Vatry airport on23-25 May. “We are puzzled that more airlines have not started the certification process,” admitted Kerstin Belgardt, secretary of the CCA, shortly […]


Why have airlines so far proved reluctant to apply for Cool Chain Association accreditation? That was one of the topics being discussed at the association’s fifth annual general meeting at France’s Vatry airport on23-25 May.

“We are puzzled that more airlines have not started the certification process,” admitted Kerstin Belgardt, secretary of the CCA, shortly before the AGM. “Is it that they have issues with the certification process, or is it that they are frightened their own handling procedures would not meet the required standards? We don’t know, but we intend to explore this issue in Vatry.”

The CCA unveiled its Cool Chain Quality Indicator (CCQI) standards in February 2005, but to date only five companies have completed the certification programme, which is independently managed by German standards body, Germanischer Lloyd. Bilund airport in Denmark and Dutch trucker Jan de Rijk were relatively quick to apply for certification, and in the year since perishables logistics firms HQL in Hamburg and Integra2 in Spain have also become certified, as has one London branch of HellmanPerishable Logistics.

Nippon Express is also working on certification, as is Continental Airlines, though Belgardt admits she has not had a progress update recently from the US carrier. As for other companies, Belgardt speculates that many may be working to ensure their procedures are fully up to scratch before starting the CCQI process. “For a large company, it could be a long process. They would have to check their procedures, go back and make changes, then recheck,” she points out. That being said, the CCA is trying to up the ante a bit by persuading a “big European retailer” (Belgardt declines to be more specific) to certify its operations.“That would bring more attention tothe CCQI standards and put morepressure on transport companies tobecome certified,” she says.