Cool School: Inside the CEIV-Pharma certification program

Down the road

Polmans describes the long-term effects of the CEIV training with an Indian expression: “Take risks in business, and if you succeed, you can lead. If you fail, you can guide.” At the moment, Brussels Airport appears to be leading, rather than merely guiding, the efforts to expand CEIV-Pharma.

But Brussels is not alone in its pursuit of CEIV excellence. IATA has expanded its training of independent validators and is looking for more airports and cargo handlers to certify. By the end of 2014, IATA guided the CEIV certification for seven entities involved in airfreight handling, with 30 more undergoing certification in 2015. By the end of this year, IATA expects to have a total of 37 entities trained and certified, including possibly Rome FCO, Milan Malpensa, Liège, Rio de Janeiro and Shanghai.

“We haven’t seen as many cargo communities as closely organized as Brussels Airport, but we are getting a lot of positive response,” said IATA’s Schaefer. “We’re talking to a number of companies around the world to either pursue individual certification or start creating cargo communities at their own hubs. Of course some are cautious, but I think they will start supporting the certification once they see the benefits. As with any new standards, there are your early adopters and the ones who wait.”

For those interested in following in Brussels’ footsteps, Polmans said there is room in the program for supply chain stakeholders of virtually any level of experience. “In our pre-assessment, some [companies] had experience and some started from scratch. Some already had GDP licenses, and they were still shocked and surprised at the gaps the [CEIV] training exposed.”

UTi’s Abbate said that the competitive advantage of a CEIV cert may someday become a vital requirement, along with the serialization of pharma cargo, which involves the tracking individual shipments to prevent counterfeiting. “Within a five-year window, we will likely see an increasing number of countries that will require temperature and serialization data as part of the documentation process for product entering into commerce,” he said.

Polmans agrees that CEIV may be the wave of the future. “A few years from now, if you don’t have this, you may not be able to ship pharmaceuticals anywhere.”


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