IATA Cargo IQ: Question time with GLS

IATA has recently interviewed with Global Logistics System (HK) Co., Ltd (GLS) about their experience of the successful completion in the new Cargo iQ Audit and Certification Scheme. 

Below is the interview that quotes from the IATA Cargo iQ news February 2018 edition.


Question time with GLS Co. Corporate Development Manager Stephen Chan


We announced the launch of our new externally accredited audit scheme at the 2017 IATA World Cargo Symposium, and since then have received positive feedback from ours members recently accredited, or working towards the process. 

Global Logistics System (HK) Co., Ltd has recently become accredited, so we caught up with Corporate Development Manager Stephen Chan to find out more about their experience.







Photo of the team participated in the audit.
On the left: Keith Lam; In the Middle: Viann Cheung; On the Right: Kelvin Tam

How much time did your teams invest into conducting the audit?

Over two separate days, representatives from three of our internal teams dedicated a total of 1.5 days to conducting the audit process.
This all took place at our head office in Hong Kong.

How many GLS colleagues participated in the audit?

Three members from our Business Solutions and Application Development teams participated in the audit, supported by colleagues from our Operations and Infra Structure teams.

As a certified Cargo iQ Cargo Data Management Platform (CDMP) service provider, your audit process will have been unique. How did audit company SGS go about conducting your audit?

We know that Cargo iQ recently developed a refreshed set of audit criteria, and included in this special guidance for CDMP providers. Our audit focuses on confirming that the GLS  EDMPTM system is properly and effectively implemented, and that it conforms to Cargo iQ standards and specifications.

The Cargo iQ audit checklist covers:

   -Quality Management 

   -Continuous Improvements & Risk Management 

   -Station Review/Audit 

   -Cargo iQ Reporting 

   -Specific audit items for CDMP 

Working with the SGSauditor was smooth from the first day, when he took the time to clearly outline how he would work with us throughout the two sessions.  With continuous reference to the checklist, the auditor conducted interviews with GLS HK participants to evaluate our principles, policies, process flow, and procedures for Cargo iQ compliancy. 

The auditor then summarized and shared his initial findings and understandings to allow us to further elaborate and show additional proof and support.  The auditor then completed his official audit report and submitted it to Cargo iQ.    

You now know that you have passed the audit with your certificate renewed – congratulations! What was the biggest challenge you encountered during the audit, and how did you handle it?

GLS is the first CDMP service provider in Asia to be certified by Cargo iQ under the new scheme, and we have full confidence that our EDMPTM system is fully compliant with Cargo iQ standards - especially considering that we conduct an internal GLS audit twice a year.    

With the new audit conducted by an external third party the audit is now built to be much more objective. Therefore, extra efforts were needed in proving that we complied with the checklist as it was written. 

A particular challenge in completing the audit was the need to align terminologies with practices, and to present our answers in an objective and clear way to the auditor.

Quite often, the auditor indicated that our document procedures were not detailed enough to be proof of adequate assessment and internal control.  We needed to provide additional evidence including system records and even case studies to illustrate how we work in full compliance with the new audit scheme. Here was our main learning experience of the process and it has been useful to have a refresh in this area.    

What can you share about the experience in the audit?  What do you want to tell other Cargo iQ members which are preparing now?

We all know Cargo iQ sets a very high standard for all members, so make sure one’s system and all related control and processes are constantly fulfilling the requirements. To best prepare for the new audit session, our advice is to have all the documents you may need ready and available for easy checking by the auditor.

What is the biggest learning you have through this audit? How does it help GLS?

While for us, passing the audit has the clear objective of becoming Cargo iQ certified, our main learning is more on internal improvements. The GLS system has continuously achieved high SLA standards, and received very high satisfaction scoring from our customers; however we should not be complacent.

We should regularly review the system performance, listen to customer feedback, especially when it comes to new requirements, and ride on new technologies to drive continuous enhancements to our  EDMPTM system.  

Now it is clear that in 2018 we should focus on improving our internal control and operations procedures.