Emirates expands pharma corridor network and opens purpose-built facility in Chicago

Emirates SkyCargo has boosted its pharma corridor network from 12 to 20 stations and launched a facility in Chicago dedicated to pharmaceutical shipments. The carrier’s pharma operations in Dubai have also been recertified as compliant with the EU’s Good Distribution Practice (GDP) requirements.

The pharma corridor program was launched by Emirates in January 2018 and consists of key export and import cities. “Pharmaceutical cargo being transported by air are growing in their sophistication and complexity in terms of the strict regulations for handling and temperature control,” said Henrik Ambak, senior vice president of cargo operations worldwide at Emirates. “We introduced the pharma corridors initiative because we wanted to expand the required high standard of handling for pharma shipments further into our network and serve markets better from origin to destination. We have been successfully working with our ground handling partners at our major pharma points and the model has met with quite a lot of success and positive feedback from our customers. This has motivated us to replicate the model at more pharma stations thus growing our pharma corridors network to more than 20 stations. We’ll continue to look at how pharma flows through our network and add more stations in the future.”

In Chicago, the new facility occupies an area of more than 1,000 square meters and contains temperature-controlled zones for acceptance and delivery, build up and break down, storage and direct ramp access. The facility has an annual capacity of 15,000 tonnes and was developed in partnership with ground handling company Maestro.

“Having a dedicated facility for pharma at one of our busiest stations for pharma in our network is a big boost to our pharma handling credentials and capability,” said Nabil Sultan, divisional senior vice president of Emirates SkyCargo. “This was also a unique model wherein we worked closely with the ground handler and were involved in the planning for the facility from the very beginning. Using our learnings from transporting pharma across six continents, we were able to collaborate to make the new pharma facility fit for purpose.”

SkyCargo’s dual-airport hub in Dubai first received the GDP certification in 2016 from Bureau Veritas and has been revalidated every year.

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