Panalpina to Run Distribution Centre for Proton Therapy Treatment at BRU

At Brussels Airport, ground was broken for a new logistics facility supporting proton therapy cancer treatment. It will open in November 2016 and will be operated by logistics heavyweight Panalpina.

 From l > r: Mark Guilliams, Panalpina  /  Werner van Walle, Patronale Life  /  Bruno Jacques, Panalpina  /  Steven Polmans  /  Nathan De Valck, both Brussels Airport  -  photo: BRU
From l > r: Mark Guilliams, Panalpina / Werner van Walle, Patronale Life / Bruno Jacques, Panalpina / Steven Polmans / Nathan De Valck, both Brussels Airport - photo: BRU

Brussels Airport Company as the land owner and insurance and mortgage company Patronale Life as the investor and future lessor are currently building the new 2,800 m2 facility with nine truck docks. It will be run exclusively by Panalpina. The (only) customer is Belgium-based Ion Beam Application S.A. (IBA).

The new building is adjacent to Panalpina’s existing 2,700 m2 CEIV Pharma-certified facility, which has two separate areas where temperature sensitive goods can either be kept and monitored at ‘Controlled Room Temperature’ between 15°C and 25°C or between 2°C and 8°C.

In line with Panalpina’s strategy
IBA is a university spin-off company that has developed a highly targeted cancer treatment called ‘proton therapy’. This treatment delivers high-energy radiation doses via proton beam directly to the tumour. Some of the key benefits for the cancer patient are little to no radiation outside the tumour, a low integral dose per treatment and better quality of life during and after treatment.

Panalpina’s involvement in the advent of the new therapy is in line with its strategy, says Bruno Jacques, the group’s country manager for Belgium. “This important agreement is a result of our long-term vision and targeted business development in Belgium and Brussels in particular. We have a strong focus on the healthcare industry, including the fast-growing medical devices companies with their big presence here


According to a recent report by iGate Research, there is an unprecedented demand for proton therapy and the number of proton therapy centres is increasing globally. The report states that while the numbers of patients treated globally with proton therapy is still very low, the potential candidates for proton therapy are in the millions. IBA is the world’s leader in proton therapy, but the report points out that other players have also started to make their presence felt in the market.

End-to-end solution
“That’s where we as Panalpina can make a difference for our customers”, explains Bruno. “Our experts across all functions, from air and ocean freight to logistics and sales, can help healthcare companies turn their supply chains into a competitive advantage.” In the case of IBA this means that Panalpina will assist the company with the installation and maintenance of a growing number of proton therapy centres across the world.

“IBA has very diverse transportation needs where quality service and short lead-times are crucial”, he continues. “This can be anything from an air freight on-board courier service for a small urgently needed spare part to a heavy-lift project move including transport engineering services for a semi-knocked-down 220 ton high-tech device.”

Panalpina will either arrange end-to-end transport including customs clearance from IBA’s production site in Louvain-La-Neuve directly to a hospital or via one of the two Panalpina operated regional distribution centres in the U.S. and Singapore.

Marcel Schoeters in Brussels

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Comments: 2
  • #1

    Sandro Hofer (Wednesday, 03 August 2016 10:49)

    The new facility will already we finished in November of this year (2016). Thanks for correcting!

  • #2

    Heiner Siegmund (Wednesday, 03 August 2016 15:22)

    Thx for informing. Have changed accordingly.
    Rgds, H