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Air cargo industry investing to deliver cold chain requirements, says CCA

Chairman says standards for pharmaceutical industry continue to increase

| | Feb 18, 2018 | 10:50 am
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The air cargo industry has been investing to deliver the requirements set by shippers. This was the observation that Stavros Evangelakakis, Chairman, Cool Chain Association (CCA) shared with Climate Control Middle East, when asked about the important role airline companies play in thermal integrity of vital pharmaceutical products and food, in a bid to limit loss. This, he said, has been the trend from shippers to consignees. “For the pharmaceutical industry,” he said, “the requirements are very high and it keeps on increasing. The manufacturer is also responsible for the integrity of their product by choosing the right suppliers. On the perishable sector, we [would] like to also see a standard, how to handle those goods, similar to the pharmaceutical industry.”

Citing International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Center of Excellence for Validators (CEIV) as an example, Evangelakakis said community approaches such as these have urged many supply chain members to go under strict operational excellence. When it comes to handling products in the air, he said, the process is the same as ensuring the correct process on the ground, while maintaining the same temperature. “The biggest difference in case of temperature deviation resulting to discard the products is actually the value,” he said.

Speaking on trends in terms of best practices, Evangelakakis said he has seen notable investment towards facilities, process, training and qualifications, and that the same has been done on the RFS side in terms of forwarding and the airline community. “There is a caveat, Evangelakakis said, “Of course, the setups are not adequate everywhere, but we are getting there slowly. It’s a common approach, and every part of the supply chain should ask itself, do I do enough to handle such products?”

As chairman, Evangelakakis said, he would like to work towards a standardisation for perishable goods, of the same standard as those being implemented in the healthcare industry, sharing that he advocates clear instruction on the temperature range and a dedicated label for perishables.

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