Global standards: Pharma handling’s final frontier [VIDEO]

BUDAPEST — Steve Polmans is not stuck in the proverbial “black hole,” a term coined to describe the murky intersection of forwarders, ground handlers, carriers and other airfreight companies at airports around the world. Brussels Airport walked into the light a few years back, he said, with the implementation of its airport community, which now serves as a guidepost for other airports looking to enhance their operations.

“Closer cooperation is changing the business, and we are seeing the benefits,” said the head of Brussels Cargo to a panel here at the fifth Pharma & Bioscience Conference.

Perhaps the most effective tool of standardization to date is CEIV accreditation, which forces airfreight companies of all stripes to align their practices with the body’s standards. Collaboration benefits us by having us work together as a group, said Gino Vleugels, senior manager of EMEA temperature control at Johnson & Johnson. “CEIV allows us to trust another party’s audits,” he said. “We can extend our network by trusting other parties that are certified.”

“Even if we are the best in Europe, it doesn’t matter if the other end isn’t up to our standards,” said Polmans. With standards now established, it will be easier for other airports to follow Brussels Airport’s lead. The next step will be going to more remote airports, to ensure that proper handling at origin airports translates into pristine deliveries at the final destination. “It needs to be an end-to-end solution,” Polmans said.

But with the benefits of standards established, groups like Pharma.aero are working to implement them on a global level. “CEIV is well established in Europe,” said Jaisey Yip, associate general manager of cargo and logistics, and air hub innovation at Changi Airport in Singapore. “But it’s just starting to make its way to Asia, in terms of the uniformity and awareness – it’s moving towards harmonization.”

Below: panelist Nina Heinz, global head of network and quality temperature management solutions for DHL Global Forwarding talks about controlling a shipment at the destination airport:

To learn more about the latest innovations in airport cargo communities, join us at Air Cargo World’s ELEVATE Conference in Miami, Oct. 2. Click here for registration information.

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