Amsterdam Adopts Brussels Pharma Concept

The cargo division of Schiphol Airport and the umbrella organisation Air Cargo Netherlands (ACN) intend to develop Amsterdam Airport as a preferred pharma hub for shippers. The introduction of the IATA CEIV model, already in place at Brussels Airport, is seen as the way forward.
Both the airport authority and ACN recognise that pharma logistics – in fact logistics of life sciences and health products - is a booming business. The further development of this commodity fits well into ACN’s strategy of developing niche markets. In July 2015, ACN brought together the air cargo community at the ‘ACN Pharma Day’.

Positive market response to the initiative
Interested stakeholders set up a ‘Task Force Pharma’ and have made considerable progress since. The initiative they have launched is made up of three spearheads:

  • Promoting and branding Schiphol as an excellent pharma hub for shippers both on the national and the international level
  • Consolidating this branding on ‘hard’ facts, among which the present and projected facilities (on 1st, 2nd and 3rd line) and ensuing processes
  • Independent certification, preferably by the IATA-supported ‘Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators’ (CEIV).

Ten parties have already expressed their interest to go along with this concept.

Pharma products must be kept cool at all times   -  picture: ms
Pharma products must be kept cool at all times - picture: ms

Brussels applauds Schiphol’s step
The Pharma CEIV was co-designed and first introduced at Brussels Airport and is supported by over 20 companies. Not surprisingly, Brussels was the first location to be visited by an ACN delegation. The second visit was to Frankfurt, where ACN was given a tour of the Lufthansa Cargo Cool Center.
Steven Polmans, Head of Cargo at Brussels Airport Company, says that the Amsterdam initiative clearly demonstrates that Brussels has made the right choices in the past and is doing the right thing. “The trust we have been able to build, is reinforced within the market. Anyway, we are writing our own story, without looking at the competition too much. Both in our IT story and our Cloud project we see that Amsterdam is going in the same direction. This may offer a perspective of collaboration, provided it would lead to an improvement of our industry as a whole.”

AF-KL-MP Cargo received CEIV certification
The Franco-Dutch freight carrier has been awarded IATA’s CEIV certificate for its hub operations in Amsterdam and Paris in combination with the Air France and KLM airline processes. 
Bram Graeber, executive vice president of AF-KL-MP Cargo said: “Pharma is a top priority for our airline group. In an increasingly demanding environment for time and temperature sensitive shipments, this certification reconfirms our commitment to offering the highest possible quality standards in support of our customers’ business activities.” 
Renate de Walle, AFKLMP’s product market group director for Pharmaceutical Logistics speaks of a milestone achieved by her airline: the CEIV certificate “confirms our position as an industry leader for air transportation within the pharmaceutical logistics chain,” she stated.
AFKL is the first airline group to complete this process at two different hubs at the same time. “From its state-of-the-art facilities, excellent quality management system, well-trained workforce, and certifications, AFKL has certainly raised the bar high for the rest to follow. We congratulate them on this achievement,” said Glyn Hughes, IATA’s Head of Cargo.   


First agents join Schiphol's pharma initiative

Today, (17 February) CargoForwarder Global has been informed that ground handler World Wide Flight Services (WFS) and freight forwarder Cyberfreight are the first companies to subscribe to Schiphol’s Pharma Logistics Program. The program was recently launched following an initiative from Schiphol Group and the umbrella organisation Air Cargo Netherlands.


Marcel Schoeters /  Heiner Siegmund

Write a comment

Comments: 0