Emirates’ air cargo arm, SkyCargo, has added another layer of protection of the high-value cool-chain commodities in its global network with today’s launch of “pharma corridors,” linking various destinations that are designed to maintain strict end-to-end temperature control for sensitive goods.
According to SkyCargo, the facilities within these corridors are operated under uniform cool-chain standards that meet or exceed the handling protocols of the E.U.’s Good Distribution Practices (GDP) or IATA’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators for Pharmaceiticals (CEIV-Pharma) guidelines.
In a collaboration with its ground handling partners and other stakeholders at multiple cities across its network, the workers at the stations within these pharma corridors received enhanced training in the handling pharmaceutical cargo. The stations then underwent a number of engagement and qualification visits to prepare for the rollout.
The first dozen stations that were named as pharma corridors include Amsterdam, Brussels, Bengaluru, Cairo, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Milan, Rome, Shanghai and Singapore. More air hubs are expected to be added later this year, Emirates said.
Much of the work on the corridors began in 2016, when SkyCargo’s operations at its dual hubs at Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Central, along with its interconnecting trucking operations, were certified as compliant with GDP guidelines. With the pharma corridors, the focus was to build on these hub standards and expand them to non-hub handling activities, to provide added protection for pharma cargo.
“We have been listening to feedback from stakeholders in the global pharmaceutical industry,” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates’ divisional senior vice president for cargo. “We realized that it was essential to work with our partners on the ground at the various stations in order to ensure that pharmaceutical cargo travels under the best conditions – not only through our state-of-the-art facilities in Dubai and when onboard our modern aircraft, but right from the point the cargo gets dropped off at the origin airport until it is collected at the destination airport.”
The U.A.E.-based carrier has also invested in the development of White Cover thermal blankets, as well as thermal-control containers, such as its Cool Dolly and its White Container, to ensure the safe transit of delicate medicines. Emirates SkyCargo has a fleet of more than 50 Cool Dollies dedicated to pharma.
For more on SkyCargo’s pharma cargo transit procedures in Dubai, check out this video presented by Emirates: