Roel Gevaers, Dr PhD, University of Antwerp Belgium and Chairman of this international Masterclass said, “Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is clear that the vaccines and pharma supplies will be the way to our renewed freedom. This pandemic was a perfect example why effective pharma supply chains and logistical flows are of major importance in our worldwide society. From government as from industry perspective, special attention will be paid towards the logistics of pharma for the years to come. For this reason, I am extremely excited to be chair of this interesting Pharma Logistics Masterclass – where Business meets Academics.”
Tom O’ Brien, Dr. PhD, California State University, Long Beach California USA and Deputy Director of the METRANS Transportation Consortium and Co-chair said, “The pandemic has elevated the profile of the global supply chain in ways we could not have predicted 18 months ago. Now the challenge is to tell the story of the various supply chains that make up the system of systems. Pharma Logistics is one of those. I am thrilled that we can help share some of the North American perspective on the topic, including Long Beach’s now much studied approach to vaccine rollout. The story of the logistics is in part the story of its success. Disseminating this kind of information is part of METRANS’ mission.”
The Pharma Logistics masterclass covers a variety of topics. Themes vary from basic to in-depth knowledge around life science - production, storage and handling, as wel as economic and operational challenges. Renowned speakers from the academic community and the pharma sector will highlight topics such as pharma logistics, role of hinterland, maritime and air freight transport in pharma supply chains, pharma logistics costs, last mile strategies, pharma communities, etc.
Frank van Gelder, Secretary General of Pharma.Aero and Co-chair, added, “Life science air cargo supply chain reliability and end to end visibility are the DNA of Pharma.Aero. We are excited that air cargo will kick-off the program. The importance of air cargo has been underlined in the past year amid the global Covid-19 pandemic situation with urgent global air transportation of PPE, medical supplies and vaccines. We will connect the current business models and strategies used in the industry with data analytics and modelling designed and produced by institutions.“
Pharma.Aero, a non-profit organisation with its headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, aims to achieve excellence in reliable end-to-end air transportation for Life Science and Medtech shippers, by fostering collaboration between CEIV certified airport communities dedicated in developing and pioneering when it comes to handling, storage and air transportation of pharmaceuticals.
Pharma.Aero brings added value for the shipper by placing them as strategic priorities of Pharma.Aero, providing insights into the capabilities of the air cargo industry, as well as facilitating direct collaboration with the different air cargo stakeholders in the supply chain. Together, the organisation focuses on collaborative and continuous improvement of the Life Science and Medtech air cargo supply chain.
Pharma.Aero is an organisation that is proud to walk the talk. Jointly with our members, we co-ideate and co-develop projects that focus on end-to-end supply chain visibility solutions and address air transportation issues and challenges faced by the Life Science and Medtech industry. Since its inception in 2016, Pharma.Aero initiated and completed 6 projects. Consequently, technical papers for our members and white papers for the entire industry were published.
About University of Antwerp
The University of Antwerp is a young, dynamic and forward-thinking university. It integrates the assets of its historical roots with its ambition to contribute positively to society. The University of Antwerp develops, provides access to and disseminates scientific knowledge through research, teaching and academic service to the community and accomplishes these tasks in a spirit of academic freedom and responsibility.
The University of Antwerp attaches great importance to its close, historic links with Antwerp University Hospital and Antwerp Management School. It seeks constructive partnerships in the fields of research, teaching and academic service to society. In addition, the University shares its expertise with both public and private partners. The Faculty of Business and Economics of the University of Antwerp is the only one in Flanders with multiple international accreditations.
The METRANS Transportation Consortium was established in 1998 through the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) as the first University Transportation Center in Southern California. METRANS is a joint partnership of the University of Southern California (USC) and California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). METRANS' mission is to solve transportation problems of large metropolitan regions through interdisciplinary research, education and outreach.
METRANS has three primary objectives:
Foster independent, high quality research to solve the nation's transportation problems
Train the next generation transportation workforce
Disseminate information, best practices, and technology to the professional community
We accomplish these objectives through a comprehensive and collaborative program of research, education, information dissemination and technology transfer organized around three topical focus areas:
Integrated management of freight and passenger systems
Sustainable and efficient urban freight transportation
Mobility of urban populations
The partnership of USC and CSULB brings together two large urban universities -- a combined student body of about 65,000 -- with complementary strengths. USC is among the nation's leading research universities, and CSULB is one of the largest teaching universities in California. METRANS research includes many disciplines: faculty come from several fields of engineering, as well as planning, public policy, public administration, economics, and geography.
For further information contact
Frank Van Gelder, Secretary General and Co-Chair Masterclass
TIACA is The International Air Cargo Association, based in Miami, Florida. TIACA is the unique international not-for-profit association representing and uniting all parts of the air cargo industry: shippers, forwarders, ground handlers, airports, airlines, manufacturers, IT providers, etc. TIACA members are traditional players and new entrants, small, medium, and large companies with regional and global reach.
TIACA’s vision is a safe, profitable and united air cargo industry that embraces modern technologies and practices to sustainably and fairly serve trade and social development worldwide. TIACA’s mission is to support, lead and unite the industry to achieve that vision; promote and encourage business, social, and technological innovation; protect the interests of its members with one voice on common interests; disseminate and enhance knowledge amongst members and the air cargo industry.
Pharma.Aero, a non-profit organization with its headquarter in Brussels, Belgium, aims to achieve excellence in reliable end-to-end air transportation for Life Science and Medtech shippers, by fostering collaboration between CEIV certified airport communities dedicated in developing and pioneering when it comes to handling, storage and air transportation of pharmaceuticals.
Pharma.Aero brings added value for the shipper by including them into their core strategy, better understanding of the capabilities and challenges of air cargo and facilitate direct collaboration with the operators of air cargo. Together we focus on continuous improvement of the Life Science and Medtech supply chain. The air cargo stakeholders are offered the opportunity to share and receive best practices, by being part of the different projects of Pharma.Aero and participating in global fora.
Pharma.Aero’s mainly focusses on end-to-end solutions, creating transparency and visibility and provide solutions for the supply chain of pharmaceutical shipments. Pharma.Aero brings actual issues and challenges of the shipper and the operator to the front, by developing and executing projects to the benefit of the entire air cargo industry.
The survey is part of the joint project - Project Sunrays, organized by Pharma.Aero and TIACA to shine a light on Covid-19 vaccines transport requirements and airfreight readiness.
With fast development in both pharma and logistics sectors, the aim of the survey is to assess the airfreight readiness progress made in the past 3 months, as well as understand air cargo industry's business plans for 2021.
Your responses will be highly valuable to the project and will remain anonymous. Only aggregated outcomes will be published and communicated through Sunrays webinars and Sunrays publications in December 2020.
According to the results of our airfreight readiness survey, completed by 181 airlines, freight forwarders, ground handlers, airport operators and solution providers, majority of the industry players have begun preparation to handle, store, transport and deliver the future COVID-19 vaccines. They are setting up dedicated teams, engaging with partners, mapping and upgrading their capabilities, as well as developing new services. As compared to companies which are already in close engagement with vaccines manufacturers, companies not involved in direct conversations with the manufacturers felt the least prepared for the upcoming logistics challenge of vaccines transportation.
“We as an industry are as strong as our weakest link. To move the needle on industry readiness, we need to ensure everyone is engaged and informed. Only with a strong and transparent dialogue between pharmaceutical and air cargo sectors, governments, non-governmental organizations and healthcare institutions can we overcome these challenges. The sooner, the better,” – said Emir Pineda, Member of TIACA’s Board of Director and co-lead of the Sunrays project, initiated by TIACA and Pharma.Aero this August.
Areas of priority
Focus on industry collaboration between pharma and air cargo sectors; improving visibility and transparency; building adequate capabilities; getting the support from regulators to speed up the process and remove cumbersome procedures, and the help from international organizations and donors to ensure no country is left behind will ensure maximum air cargo preparedness to meet shippers’ needs and expectations for speed, security, reliability and transparency and ultimately save lives.
Strengthening industry collaboration
Vaccines manufacturers should involve all their air cargo logistics providers as early as possible
All air cargo stakeholders shall be involved in the conversation, including airports and ground handlers
Ramping-up air cargo capabilities
Each air cargo stakeholder should map its existing capabilities at each location and make this information available
Dry ice, active containers, trained staff, and cold chain space availability should be secured early
Infrastructure investment decisions should be made as early as possible
The use of tracking and monitoring devices should be encouraged and the approval process for their safe use in flight needs to start as soon as possible
Rollout of digital solutions and data sharing platforms should be accelerated
Governments, customs authorities, and border agencies should be ready to facilitate and expedite all COVID-19-related goods
International organizations, NGOs and donors should support cool chain capacity building efforts in least developed countries to ensure no one is left behind in the upcoming global immunization campaign
“We are still at early stages of industry preparation for the transportation of COVID-19 vaccines and there are still a lot of unknowns. Delivering COVID-19 vaccines is a life-saving mission which will need a combination of people, infrastructure, standards, packaging solutions and collaboration. Getting the equation right requires us to work together now,” – Nathan De Valck, Chairman of Pharma.Aero’s Board of Directors and member of the Sunrays project.
 In the Sunrays airfreight readiness survey, 28% of the respondents scored 8, 9 or 10 to the question “From 1 to 10, how well-informed and prepared is your organisation in the global air transportation of Covid-19 vaccines?”
Here you can read both articles, from page 22 to 27.
Two previous articles in ACW on April 1st, 2019: "IATA proud that industry embraces unified global approach" on page 8 and "Changi aims to be the premier pharma hub" on page 9. Click on this link to read them.
During the WCS , Pharma.Aero also welcomed 3 new members: Cairo Airport Cargo Community Cargolinx, Cathay Pacific Airlines and Edmonton International Airport (who also joined as a Strategic Member and a BOD member).
Pharma.Aero has also continued to develop their ongoing projects. The current evolution of the Global Pharma Tracker has resulted in aligning Pfizer, Singapore Airlines,Changi Airport and Brussels Airport to testcase the first data exchange within the platform.
Also within the Pharma Corridor project, a test corridor has been setup between Pfizer, Brussels Airport, Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong Airport. Currently we are evaluating the results of the first 5 test shipments passing through the lane BRU-HKG. The fact that the lane is monitored with “life” shipments is slowing down the monitoring process due to systems changes and changes of forwarder. In the coming weeks we hope to speed up the number of test shipments as now also MSD is sending goods via the BRU-HKG lane. Next to that we are investigating if we can use the data of “historical” shipments.
Furthermore, the Security Standard Protocol has been initiated and the Air Transport Benchmark Study has restarted, to move forward to finalize this project.
For the upcoming months, Pharma.Aero will work on its contribution to the program of FlyPharma, and is already in the preparation for the next General Assembly.
Pharma.Aero has added Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) and Alha Group as members of the pharma supply chain association.
Nathan De Valck, chairman of Pharma.Aero, said: “In the past year we have expanded our global network, created awareness and facilitated the collaboration within the industry.
“The open internal dialogue, underlined by our pharma shipper members, allows us to further improve the handling of pharmaceutical shipments."
Ian Kwok, assistant general manager, aviation logistics, HKIA, said: “Being an IATA Center of Excellence for Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma) partner airport and part of Pharma.Aero are key milestones in collaborating with industrial partners sharing our experience and building pharma corridors connecting to the fellow Pharma.Aero members”
Fedor Novikov, global director of ABC, said: “AirBridgeCargo has been consistently developing its Pharma ABC product, understanding the value and importance of healthcare and life-science products’ transportation.”
ABC became last year the first carrier in Russia to be awarded CEIV Pharma certification, passing the audit process “within the shortest period of four months”.
Added Novikov: “IATA CEIV nowadays is the ‘entrance ticket’ for the pharma cargo community and we are honoured to be included in Pharma.Aero platform. This narrow-focused initiative will navigate our efforts in pharma sector, giving access to cutting edge technologies, latest innovations, supply chain expertise and peer review.
“We hope that Pharma.Aero membership will enable us to develop pharma services in the interests of our customers and give a boost to our cargo volume in this sector.”
Nicola Caristo, audit & compliance manager, pharma manager, at Alha Group said: "Pharma.Aero is a powerful tool for the whole air cargo industry by creating a unique environment where CEIV certified companies, shippers and airport authorities share excellence, set the new standards and analyze data.”
January 24, 2018: In a strategic move to further streamline and reinforce its pharmaceutical shipment handling process, Pharma.Aero recently incorporated three heavy weights pharma shippers in its board.
According to reports, Hong Kong International Airport, Air Bridge Cargo Airlines and Alha Group have joined the board of Pharma.Aero.
Nathan De Valck, chairman of Pharma.Aero said: "Last year, we expanded our global network, created awareness and facilitated the collaboration within the industry. The open internal dialogue, underlined by our pharma shipper members, will allow us to further improve the handling of pharmaceutical shipments."
The three new members are established players in the supply chain of airfreight life science genre, and are expected to add value to Pharma.Aero.
"Being a CEIV pharma partner airport and a part of Pharma.Aero are some of the key milestones in collaborating with industrial partners, sharing our experience and building pharma corridors connecting all fellow Pharma.Aero members," said Ian Kwok, assistant general manager, aviation logistics of Hong Kong International Airport.
"The new members in the Pharma.Aero platform will help navigate our efforts in the pharmaceutical industry as part of cutting edge technologies and supply chain innovations. It will enable us to develop pharma services in the interest of our customers, and boost our cargo volume in this sector," said Fedor Novikov, global director of AirBridgeCargo Airlines.
"Pharma.Aero is a unique platform for cross industry collaboration. The link between the CEIV certification programs, the expertise of members and the support and vision of the pharmaceutical industry will help improve standard practices. The enhanced collaboration on a global scale is key," said Novikov.
Nicola Caristo, audit & compliance manager of Alha Group said: "Pharma.Aero is a powerful tool for the entire air cargo industry by creating a unique environment where CEIV certified companies, shippers and airport authorities will share excellence, set new standards and analyze data.".
Leandro Moreira, director of Brink's Life Sciences and chairman of Health Technologies Distribution Alliance.Br said: "Promoting collaboration between various operators in the pharma supply chain is a formidable step to improve quality, enhance operational excellence and help increase compliance to regulatory requirements. Organisations such as Pharma.Aero do a great job bringing stakeholders together to support all that."
“The past year we expanded our global network, created awareness and facilitated the collaboration within the industry,” said Pharma.Aero chairman Nathan De Valck. “The open internal dialogue, underlined by our pharma shipper members, allows us to further improve the handling of pharmaceutical shipments.”
The worldwide Pharma.Aero platform will enable its members consisting of Airport Communities, Pharma Shippers, and other pharma logistics stakeholders to foster strong collaboration amongst themselves. By sharing expertise, data, best practices and jointly working on innovative regional initiatives with an emphasis on the IATA CEIV Program, airports and their operators will achieve excellence in reliable end to end transportation for the pharma shippers and patients.