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Technology is key to safe shipments 32

Competition in the world pharmaceuticals market is intensifying, not only from other air carriers but increasingly from ocean shipping lines. The task of Luſthansa Cargo senior manager and business development expert senior manager at the carrier’s competence centre for temperature control, Christopher Dehio is to ensure that the German carrier stays one step ahead. “We have invested a lot in our

cool chain product in the past ten years – competition has stiffened up in the past two years,” says Dehio. The end result of all this is the Opticooler, a sophisticated airfreight container that can heat as well as cool sensitive products (an important consideration when you consider

that the outside air temperature at 37,000ſt is -15

New technology can prevent temperature ‘excursions’ but it is expensive

degrees) as well as monitor the temperature throughout the journey – and then download the information. The carrier has also invested

in a dedicated pharmaceutical terminal at its main Frankfurt base, separating it from the perishables traffic, and now offers 45,000sq ſt in three temperature ranges. Like all air carriers, Luſthansa

Cargo is facing tougher regulations from the manufacturers, but it is important to manage expectations, says Dehio. Some of the standards

Envirotainer sees strong growth in Asia

Envirotainer, the temperature- controlled air cargo container specialist, has opened a new office in Singapore to improve access to its active equipment and cold chain management services in Asia Pacific, now the world’s fastest growing pharmaceuticals market. Asia Pacific is expected to grow

by 97% and account for 29% of global pharma sales by 2016, says Envirotainer, which aims to build on its already strong partnerships with healthcare companies and their airline and logistics partners in the region. Envirotainer CEO Gustaf Ljunggren

said: “Envirotainer is today locally represented in Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore and we intend to actively develop further in the region. Thanks to our airline partners, the Asian pharmaceutical industry can standardise their cold chain packaging as these partners can connect more than 50 Asian cities within 48 hours or less.” He said that while the global

pharmaceutical companies entered Asia only ten years ago, “the acceleration of research, development and manufacturing seen in the last 2-3 years is unparalleled compared to that of earlier years. Driven by its large population, growing economies and improved access to life saving medicines, the Asia Pacific region is expected to see substantial growth in the coming years.” Singapore has become an biopharma,

important medical,

and logistics hub for the region and major companies are building strong commercial, manufacturing, distribution and warehouse presences there. Australia and Japan are also showing promising growth, and the pharmaceutical industries in South Korea, China and India are also developing rapidly. Envirotainer has appointed Suat

Toh as head of healthcare sales for Asia Pacific, based in Singapore. Further new appointments in the region include Theng Hui Low as regional sales manager, Paul Seet as regional partner manager, and Sunny Jaggi as global service network coordinator. Suat Toh said: “The Asian market

is maturing. Today, production of advanced medicine, vaccine, blood plasma and so forth is growing in the Asian countries. Previously it was more generics and these are often transported by sea freight or general cargo. Now,

these manufacturers

are coming to the next step in their evolution, with new needs and demands.We need to make sure that these potential customers are aware of what Envirotainer can offer and are assured that they are in a position to access it easily and quickly. The vast geographical area of Asia Pacific means that air transport is even more important, because most of the time trucking is not an option. We will be demonstrating how our active solution helps healthcare manufacturers meeting the most stringent quality requirements.”

that have been suggested might work in a highly controlled manufacturing plant, but there is no way that they could be maintained in a complex transport chain. That said, Luſthansa makes

every effort to control temperature as far as possible, which is why it has spent so much money on developing active containers. However, while one arm of the pharma industry is seeking very high temperature-control standards, logistics managers in the same industry – oſten under pressure to keep their own budgets under control – can sometimes be reluctant to spend on temperature- controlled equipment, even for shipments that may be worth tens of millions of dollars in some cases. Sometimes the logistics department shaves transport costs and then there are complaints about temperature excursions which could easily be avoided by using the Opticooler. While use of this relatively

expensive equipment may be superfluous at Frankfurt and some other high quality hubs where efforts have been made to minimise time on the tarmac such as Schiphol, there could be problems at the destination or origin airports where, with the best will in the world, adequate handling may simply not be available. Vaccines oſten move on or off the aircraſt on the back of flat bed trucks in the heat of the tropics, for instance. The other issue that needs

to be resolved, continues Dehio, are agreed standards for temperature variation. Some products

will tolerate certain

levels of temperature fluctuation, but, frustratingly, consignments may be rejected by the national health authority because it has its own rulebook, even though the manufacturer’s own limits may not have been exceeded. “The regulatory bodies are not always quite in tune with each other,” Dehio says. “The problem for us is that we have no clear guidelines.” IATA could perhaps take a lead in this, as it once did in the past, he suggests. The pharma industry itself also needed to lobby the food and drug administrations in countries around the world, he added.

Specialist temperature-

controlled distribution company, the Yearsley Group, which added a freight forwarding division earlier this year says that its new business is growing and expanding ahead of forecast. “The service we offer to our

existing clients - full end to end supply chain management

- is

something new and exciting in the market place for frozen goods. We are managing our clients’ goods through the total supply chain and offering one point of contact for the whole journey, reducing complication and cost,”

Issue 6 2012


Yearsley sees growth in forwarding

said the company in a statement. It added: “As the largest

provider of cold storage and distribution with 13 sites nationwide, we are the only company who can offer a full end to end supply chain for frozen goods in the UK.” Yearsley in fact offers both

temperature-controlled and recently launched ambient logistics services, coupled with customs consultancy and full supply chain modelling. The company currently

manages imports from Thailand, China,

US, India, Vietnam,

Indonesia and Ecuador and exports to the US, UAE , Thailand and China. It has also secured increased

volumes of FOB business in both ambient and frozen from Thailand, and will be managing specialist import licences specific to poultry. Volume has also increased from the existing customer base across both ocean and European road freight and air freight is planned for further development in 2012.

Fresh fruit and veg is healthy for Norbert Dentressangle

While many of us are old enough to remember tinned peaches as a Sunday teatime treat,

chopping which is all done at origin)

including packing, today’s

consumer is a lot more savvy, demanding trays of fresh, ready prepared fruit and veg, and is prepared to pay for it. Allied to government campaigns to get us all eating our ‘five a day’ and it is clear why forwarder Norbert Dentressangle has identified perishables as a growth area. As well as operating regular sea

and air temperature-controlled services from the main growing areas it also operates the Heathrow Perishables Handling Centre (PHC), the largest chilled airfreight distribution centre in the UK and in fact the only on-airport facility of its kind in the UK. This does everything to get trays of fresh fruit and veg ready for the supermarket shelf

(apart from peeling and

24-26 September 2013 SS Rotterdam, Rotterdam bar

coding and quality control. There is 6,500 sq m of chilled storage and the centre can process up to 8 million trays a year. As might be expected from its

location, the PHC handles mainly airfreight. Shipping reefer boxes generally move straight to the retailer’s distribution centres. The PHC was originally owned

by British Airways but was then outsourced and it came under Norbert Dentressangle’s ownership through its acquisition of Christian Salvesen. Norbert Dentressangle handles

produce from all over the world, but especially from the Americas including the US, Brazil and Chile. The recent acquisition of John Keells in India and Sri Lanka, and a major perishables specialist in

its own right, should also boost temperature controlled business from the subcontinent. For airfreight, pre-frozen gel

packs are used on short and some medium haul flights but not on very long haul such at Latin

16-18 April 2013

Vineyard Hotel & Spa, Cape Town

America to Europe. The principle is essentially the same as the freezer packs that you use to keep cans of beer cool in your picnic basket – and which allow a standard ULD to be used rather than expensive controlled-atmosphere units.

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