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‘India is an important market for manufacture and export of pharma products’

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Bert Allard Jorritsma, Manager Special Cargo Product Service Delivery, Emirates, in an interaction with Sanjiv Das, talks about the recently launched Emirates SkyPharma and its services for Indian as well as the global pharma industry

Emirates SkyCargo has recently launched Emirates SkyPharma. How will it enhance transport of temperature sensitive pharma shipments?

20161231ep18Emirates SkyPharma is Emirates SkyCargo’s complete solution to cargo customers who would like to transport their temperature sensitive pharma shipments. We recently launched our purpose-built, state-of-the-art facility at Dubai International Airport dedicated exclusively to the timely and secure transport of pharma products. With certification for EU Good Distribution Practices (GDP) from Bureau Veritas Germany, we adhere to most stringent guidelines and best practices for transportation of pharma products in our service, offering a high level of product integrity throughout the journey.

For temperature sensitive pharma shipments, Emirates SkyPharma ensures:

  • Controlled environments to avoid any temperature deviations from the required standards
  • Segregated environments to avoid cross-contamination
  • Highly secured operations
  • Skilled technical staff to ensure adherence to outlined procedures at every step

What are the facilities and transportation challenges?

Emirates SkyCargo has two state-of-the-art SkyPharma cargo facilities in Dubai- our freighter hub at Dubai World Central and our hub for cargo coming in on passenger flights at Dubai International Airport. We offer close to 8,600 sq m of combined handling space between the two terminals dedicated to handling pharma products. The facilities are connected by a bonded and secured temperature- controlled road feeder service. In total, this is the largest facility anywhere in the world that has been certified for GDP.

Our recently launched Emirates SkyPharma facility  at Dubai International Airport has temperature controlled zones (2-8 0 celsius and 15-25 0 celsius), 88 temperature- controlled individual positions for the same temperature ranges in the automated ULD (aircraft pallet) handling system and seven (including the internal hub connection docks) temperature controlled acceptance and delivery truck docks.

Emirates SkyCargo therefore has the robust set-up needed for secure transport of pharma products. This involves minimising risk of contamination of medicinal products with other kind of products such as perishables. Additionally, the medicinal products are stored in locations that are access controlled and monitored 24/7 by CCTV. This removes the risk of counterfeited products entering the supply during transport.

What makes your service unique from others? Who are your major clients in India and abroad?

In addition to our state-of-the- art facilities at our hub, we have a modern fleet of over 245 wide body aircraft and a global network of over 150 destinations across 82 countries in six continents providing our customers with an unparalleled reach into markets across the world. We service the Indian market with multiple flight frequencies to nine Indian destinations including freighters.

What stringent guidelines do you follow while shipping sensitive pharma products?

Emirates SkyCargo has analysed all relevant guidelines such as the World Health Organisation – and European Union guidelines. On top of that, we take into account all relevant regulations from local authorities and we work according to IATA’s Perishable Cargo Regulations (PCR) and Temperature Control Regulations (TCR).

Based on feedback from our customers we have chosen to perform certification audits against EU GDP guidelines. Our certification is proof of our full compliance to EU Good Distribution Guidelines for the handling of import, export and transit cargo shipments for pharma products at our Dubai hub.

What are your plans to tap the Indian pharma market? How do you plan to optimise your network base in India?

India is an important market for the manufacture and export of pharma products. Emirates SkyCargo works closely with our partners and customers in the Indian market to ensure timely and secure transport of their products to various destinations across our global network of over 150 destinations through our state of the art Emirates SkyPharma hub in Dubai.

Which are the areas that you serve? Tell us about your expansion plans.

Emirates SkyCargo is a global facilitator of trade and we connect customers across our global network of over 150 destinations. For pharma products, we will progressively look at getting our facilities at certain pairs of origins and destinations certified for GDP and create the SkyPharma quality standard to ensure that we offer our customers end-to-end protection for pharma shipments. We will work with our stakeholders in these markets to eventually achieve this objective.

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