Panalpina Belgium Expands at BRU Airport - Part I

At Brussels Airport Panalpina is expanding and upgrading its dedicated pharmaceuticals and healthcare industry infrastructure.

Andreas Sahli, Global Head of IV Healthcare and Senior VP  -  photo: ms
Andreas Sahli, Global Head of IV Healthcare and Senior VP - photo: ms

Last week Panalpina’s customers and members of its own European staff were invited for a private visit to the new facilities. In Brussels Panalpina has added a 2,800 m2 warehouse to its 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.

Piet Demunter, Director Strategic Development Brussels Airport Company, reminded the guests of the multitude of initiatives the airport has taken to develop into Europe’s leading pharma hub (as CargoForwarder Global has earlier reported). Brussels Airport has acted as the world’s launching airport for the IATA Pharma Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV). Panalpina was among the first companies in the Brussels airport community to obtain CEIV certification.

No worldwide CEIV
This does not mean, however, that Panalpina is considering to apply for worldwide CEIV certification, says Andreas Sahli, Global Head of IV Healthcare and Senior VP. “GDP (General Distribution Practices) is our life bone. All our stations handling healthcare must be GDP-certified. What is the use of having both CEIV and GDP? CEIV may indeed be of value for airports and airlines, but what is its value for a forwarder?”

The new Brussels facility will be dedicated to airfreight and warehousing, not only for pharmaceuticals, but also for medical devices. The first customer handled there is Ion Beam Application S.A. (IBA), a university spin-off company that has devel-oped a highly targeted cancer treatment called proton therapy. According to a recent report by iGate Research, the potential candidates for proton therapy are in the mil-lions.


IBA is the world’s leader in proton therapy, but the report points out that other play-ers have also started to make their presence felt in the market. For IBA Panalpina offers spare parts warehousing and distribution to the U.S., Singapore and beyond. Within the logistics concept of IBA the Brussels Panalpina distribution centre is to evolve into a ‘mother’ hub for other Panalpina-run

Other dedicated centres to follow
For Panalpina the Brussels healthcare facility was the second dedicated warehouse set up after the U.S. (November 2016). This June another one will be inaugurated in Singapore. Next year China and Russia will follow. Temperature-control will remain in the older building for the time being. The new-built had brought the Brussels Air-port Panalpina facility to a total of 12,000 m². Given the refurbishment program Brussels Airport Company has launched for the entire Brucargo zone, further ex-pansion up to over 20,000 m² are possible.

Marcel Schoeters in Brussels

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