BRUSSELS, 3 June 2021

Pharma.Aero, the University of Antwerp and METRANS jointly launch the first international masterclass on Pharma Logistics, where business meets academics

The recent Covid-19 pandemic has underlined that an organised and well-prepared logistics and supply chain is pivotal to the successful outcome of delivering essential medical supplies such as Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutic drugs. This has led to the first international joint initiative between the air cargo industry and world-renowned academic institutions to organise a masterclass, which the current critical aspects of pharma logistics will be covered. The Pharma Logistics Masterclass is a unique  opportunity for industry professionals to gain more in-depth knowledge, as well as for academics and PhD students to obtain advanced insights into how pharmaceutical supply chains are organised and logistics processes are optimised through applied technology for the pharma and life science sector.

This 5-day hybrid programme runs from 7 till 11 September 2021 and features insights from lecturers and business experts from all different parts of the world, combined with a visit to the pharma production facilities of GlaxoSmithKline, as well as the recently launched – by Brussels Airport and Air Cargo Belgium – vaccines logistics program “BRUcure”. Read about the Masterclass’ topics, list of presenters and lecturers, registration details etc. HERE.

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.“

About Pharma.Aero

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
Pharma.Aero VZW

Roel Gevaers, Dr PhD and Chairman Masterclass

University of Antwerp

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