American Airlines Cargo started construction of a dedicated pharmaceutical handling facility in Philadelphia.
The new 25,000-square-foot (2,322-square-meter) facility is designed to cater for a range of temperature-sensitive products being shipped in and out of the Northeast pharmaceutical corridor of the U.S.
“This new pharmaceutical center will enable American’s provision of state-of-the-art, dedicated services for our life science and health care customers. Coupled with our proven handling processes, this facility will complement our existing temperature-sensitive infrastructure enhancements throughout our network,” Jim W. Butler, president of American Airlines Cargo, said. “It will allow us to meet and exceed the increasingly sophisticated expectations of those customers with specific temperature requirements both into and out of the United States.”
Included within the new building will space for a Controlled Room Temperature passive shipments at 15-25 degrees Celsius (59-77 degrees Fahrenheit). In addition, a refrigerated area will be available for shipments that need to be maintained in a 2-8 degree Celsius (35.6-46.4 degree Fahrenheit) environment. A deep frozen area will cater to shipments needing to be kept at -20 to -10 degrees Celsius (-4 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit), and also a zoned active container area with powered charging stations with space for up to 30 electronically-controlled units.
The facility is expected to be completed in the fall and will be equipped with technology for monitoring products with proactive alarming. There will also be full back-up power generation to ensure product protection in the event of a power failure.
The opening of the Philadelphia pharmaceutical facility will coincide with the rollout of a full ExpediteTC cold chain program across the AA network.