With the COVID-19 Vaccine transport challenge looming soon, airports, airlines and others dealing with pharmaceutical logistics, are ramping up in preparation. CFG took a quick look at what has been happening recently.
For starters, Pharma.Aero, striving for quality in pharma logistics since 2016 and working closely together with TIACA in tackling the COVID-19 challenge, last week welcomed two new companies
into the fold, thus augmenting its representation across the logistics chain, in addition to its growing number of pharma shippers: Astral Aviation joined as a new Full Member, and Bombelli
Airport Equipment as an Associate Partner.
Project Sunrays will establish COVID-19 logistics guidelines
Speaking for Astral Aviation, which already has vast experience in employing drones to distribute vaccines across Africa, its CEO, Sanjeev Gadhia, stated: “We are honored to become a Full Member of Pharma.Aero, as we have confidence in the importance of Pharma.Aero in its efforts to foster collaboration between all members of the Pharma supply-chain. Being a member of TIACA, Astral Aviation is truly grateful for the launch of Project Sunrays which is an initiative between TIACA and Pharma Aero that will establish useful guidelines to ensure the proper and safe handling, storage, and transport of the highly expected volume of COVID-19 vaccines.”
“Project Sunrays”, the joint TIACA & Pharma.Aero project announced at the start of SEP20, aims to “Bring speed, reliability and visibility in the air transportation of Covid-19 vaccines to the world.”
A smooth and closed transportation chain is key
Reliability and visibility depend not only on clear process adherence, but also on quality equipment. Angelo Enrico Bombelli, the CEO of Bombelli Airport Equipment which has been providing quality cargo handling and ground support equipment for many decades, and thus builds on a huge network of airports, airlines and handling companies, said: “Following our strategy to always provide innovative and impactful cool chain solutions to support the industry, such as what we have done in developing and producing cool chain equipment designed to protect pharma cargo on the ramp or warehouse including our Temperature Controlled Dollies (Arctic Dollies), Bombelli Airport Equipment is honored to be part of Pharma.Aero. We look very much forward to collaborating with Pharma.Aero network to learn and contribute to the industry’s problems and opportunities. COVID-19 situation has surely put the spotlight on the air freight industry. So, we believe it is now more important than ever to come together to collectively share best practices and knowhow to continue shaping the industry in the best way possible.”
Growing number of CEIV-certified companies
IATA’s CEIV Pharm certification goes a long way to shaping the industry, as it stipulates clear conditions that are regularly audited. SAS Cargo successfully re-certified on 21SEP20 as an IATA CEIV Pharma airline and was the first airline to undergo IATA’s COVID-19-adapted “remote audit”. All of its pharma processes were audited remotely, in response to the current and changing travel restrictions and social distancing regulations, in a process that strives to ensure the same quality as a face-to-face audit as Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President, Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security (APCS) underlined: “The transport and handling of pharmaceuticals creates both challenges and opportunities for all cold chain industry participants, even in the best of times. In the middle of a global pandemic, those challenges are greatly exacerbated, while the need for safe transport of potentially life-saving products is even more pressing. But we are a resilient industry, and we always will find solutions to put safety first. We congratulate SAS Cargo on successfully completing their CEIV Pharma re-certification, offered by IATA in a stringent remote process to ensure continued gold-standard transport and handling of this critical cargo, even in these tough times.”
Industry-wide standards, quality equipment, and a community collaborating and sharing best-practices will go a long way to ensuring a successful COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
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