As the first carrier in the Middle East to gain IATA’s Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) certification for pharmaceutical logistics, the PharmaLife launch highlights Etihad Cargo’s prioritisation of the pharma and healthcare sectors. The specialised product will serve the anticipated global demand for swift and secure shipment services ahead of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“The pandemic prompted a reassessment of our top-level services to ensure we can address the specific requirements for shipping high volumes of in-demand product in very short timescales,” explained Andre Blech, Head of operations & Service Delivery at Etihad Cargo. “To avoid last minute pressure once a vaccine is approved, we have established a dedicated COVID-19 vaccines workforce composed of a Steering Committee and a Working Group to manage all anticipated elements.”
Available at 54 stations on the Etihad network, PharmaLife will focus on key gateways including Abu Dhabi, Barcelona, Chicago, Paris, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hyderabad, London, Milan, Melbourne, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, and Sydney.
The PharmaLife offering is hallmarked by two tailormade, sector-specific shipment solutions: global lease Active and Hybrid containers with PharmaLife Active solutions for premium, sensitive products. PharmaLife Passive Solutions will provide the right equipment and right storage conditions with three specific temperature ranges (+2° to +25°, +2° to +8°, and +15° to +25°).
PharmaLife will enhance the already available industry-leading services and features offered by Etihad Cargo. As part of the role out, Etihad Cargo is currently reviewing the refurbishment of a dedicated pharmaceutical handling facility to accommodate increased capacity at its hub in Abu Dhabi, as well as further thermal covers, and enhanced capabilities at origin stations based on pharma trade lanes and specific requests.
“Pharma shipments are a key part of the global flow where every stakeholder has a responsibility to maintain product integrity,” said Blech. “Our intention is to continuously expand our Pharma trade lanes, which requires collaboration with industry partners. By working with equipment suppliers, general handling agents, and associations, we can share knowledge and build trust across the industry that will result in the highest quality industry standard for sustainable quality that our customers deserve.
“A core part of this is through working with our GHAs to offer cool dollies or thermo trucks for key destinations; dependent upon viability, we could look into an advanced lease model for this kind of equipment as currently, due to tarmac constraints, cool dollies and thermo trucks are quite rare and expensive,” added Blech.
To provide further booking convenience for its customers, Etihad Cargo will be expanding its online booking capabilities both through www.etihadcargo.com and via partner portals.