Brussels boosts cool chain connectivity with Avianca service, dolly fleet expansion

With the addition of service to South America via Avianca Cargo and the doubling of its temperature-controlled pharmaceuticals dolly fleet, Brussels Airport (BRU) has made great strides this month in boosting the capabilities of its cool-chain operations.

On Nov.18, one of Avianca Cargo’s fleet of five A330-200 freighters touched down at BRU for the carrier’s first nonstop flight from Miami (MIA) to Brussels. The trans-Atlantic MIA-BRU will expand Avianca’s connections to Europe and also establish a central location to connect South American flower imports to the flower auction and global consolidation center in Amsterdam.

“The main purpose of this operation is to continue supporting the expansion of the flower industry and other perishable products in Latin America, as well as to offer a cargo transportation service to our customers in Europe and Asia to Latin America,” said Gerardo Grajales, Avianca’s executive vice president of business units.

At the same time, BRU has more that doubled its fleet of Airside Pharma Transporter (APT) capacity from four dolly units to nine, as it ramps up its pharmaceutical-handling capacity. With the ATP units (pictured, at right), BRU enhances its ability to protect pharma shipments from potential temperature incursions while on the ground during trans-shipments and transfers to trucks.

The APT dollies have variable temperature setting controls, as well as automated temperature reporting features, BRU said. The solar-powered active-cooling units are designed to operate completely autonomously and can maintain desired temperatures for several days at a time.

“South America is still an underserved market to and from Brussels,” said Steven Polmans, head of cargo and logistics at BRU. The new Avianca flights and equipment, he added, “have increased connectivity and capacity for pharmaceuticals, automotive and other commodities from our region to Miami, Colombia and the rest of South America.”

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