Emirates SkyCargo has significantly boosted its worldwide temperature-sensitive pharma handling capabilities and infrastructure through the creation of a new purpose-built facility in Chicago.
Emirates SkyCargo commenced handling pharmaceutical cargo at the facility this week. The facility, dedicated solely for pharmaceutical shipments. is spread over 1,000 sq. metres, with scope for additional expansion and provides comprehensive protection for pharma cargo through temperature-controlled zones for acceptance and delivery, pharma cargo build up and break down, storage and direct ramp access. Developed in partnership with ground handling company Maestro, the facility has a capacity of 15,000 tonnes of pharma shipments per annum.
“Emirates SkyCargo is committed to the safe and secure transportation of temperature sensitive pharmaceutical shipments. Having a dedicated facility for pharma at one of our busiest stations for pharma in our network is a big boost to our pharma handling credentials and capability,” said Nabil Sultan, divisional senior vice president, Emirates SkyCargo.
“This was also a unique model wherein we worked closely with the ground handler and were involved in the planning for the facility from the very beginning. Using our learnings from transporting pharma across six continents, we were able to collaborate to make the new pharma facility fit for purpose,” he added.
The facility offers temperature-controlled zones (2-8 degrees Celsius and 15-25 degrees Celsius) for acceptance and delivery, pharma cargo build up, breakdown and storage. The proximity of the facility to the ramp also means that cargo has to spend lesser time in transit to and from the terminal to the aircraft.
The dedicated pharma facility in Chicago is part of Emirates SkyCargo’s broader strategy to enhance protection for temperature sensitive pharma shipments not just at its hub in Dubai but from origin to destination.
Following up on the success of the pharma corridors initiative which was announced in January 2018, Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its initial network of 12 pharma stations to 20.
Emirates SkyCargo’s pharma operations in Dubai including the 24/7 trucking operations between its terminals at Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Central have been certified as compliant to EU GDP (Good Distribution Practices) guidelines this year.
Emirates SkyCargo first received GDP certification in 2016 which was then revalidated in 2017 and 2018. In 2019, the air cargo carrier went through a rigorous audit by Bureau Veritas where its pharma handling facilities and processes were evaluated completely from the ground up.
With over 8,000 square metres of dedicated pharma storage and handling space, Emirates SkyCargo operates the world’s largest multi-airport GDP certified hubs in Dubai. During the financial year 2018-19, the carrier transported more than 75,000 tonnes of pharmaceuticals through its network.