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Exception Handling Code Procedure Project

Laura Rodriquez, Manager Implementation and Quality Assurance, has been leading the ECHP Project

Our Exception Handling Code Procedure (EHCP) project focusses on updating Exception Handling Procedures through a new list of codes and documentation that allows the membership to capture and share exceptions in a standard manner.

In 2017 the Cargo iQ Board initiated an investigation into why the 2010 Exception Handling Code Procedure was not widely implemented in the community. An EHCP sub-working group (sWG)was created to investigate and concluded that the procedure should be updated.

The 2010 EHCP was a short list of codes that allowed the user to identify an incident and the causing party when a milestone failed. The sub-working group identified several problems:

  1. No standardized way to communicate the code from Ground Handling Agent (GHA) to airline. A GHA could only input the code using the airline system.

  2. The codes description was too vague and often insufficient to identify a root cause.

  3. Identifying the ‘causing party’ often became a blame game with inaccurate data.

  4. Since it was system driven, members were being bombarded with codes that were not always useful.

  5. It was complicated to choose a code. Therefore, an incorrect reason for the incident was selected.

The new procedure addresses all these points:

  1. Data Exchange Standards for members to communicate the codes.

  2. Three standard levels of detail for the codes, which provide enough detail to be able to identify the root cause.

  3. The identification of the causing party is removed, rather the new codes refer to the process where the issue took place.

  4. Members can configure the instances where the system will request a code and the instances where the codes will be shared with customers. The level of detail to be shared with customers can also be agreed on bilaterally.

  5. The codes are process-specific, so a user will only face the codes that apply to their process, making it easier to select the right code.

The EHCP sWG has consisted of representatives from DB Shenker, Swissport, KLM, Panalpina, Agility Logistics, CHAMP Cargosystems, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, Cargolux, Singapore Airlines, Kuehne + Nagel and Menzies, and Laura Rodriguez, Cargo iQ’s Manager Implementation & Quality Assurance. This project will allow GHAs and carriers, as well as freight forwarders to raise codes: a value-add to the shippers that can now receive information on incidents. The forwarders benefit from doing this in a standardized manner and not having different codes for each customer.

Carriers benefit from having more detailed causes for incidents internally and also from their GHAs. This should allow them to better and more easily find root causes.

GHAs will benefit from having a standardized list as well. At the moment, they have to use different lists for each carrier.

The user of the list, the person raising the codes, benefits from having a reduced list that applies only for the process they perform. There are three key stages to complete the EHCP project:

  1. a procedure document and a standard list of codes;

  2. data exchange standards;

  3. an implementation guide for members.

The project has progressed well, with the first stage complete, and phase 2 on progress in working with IATA’s Cargo Messaging Working Group. We plan to create the possibility to communicate the codes in a Cargo XML message in a standardized manner. The final stage of the project, an implementation guide, is planned to be ready by the end of May 2021. <