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  March 30th, 2016 | Written by

Pharmaceuticals Supply Chain Enhancements Promised by Changi Initiative

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  • IATA CEIV Pharma helps companies comply with existing global pharmaceuticals guidelines.
  • Companies undergoing IATA CEIV Pharma certification are assessed by IATA auditors.
  • Six companies from the air cargo supply chain are joining with Changi Airport to earn pharma certification.

Changi Airport Group (CAG) will be the first airport in Asia to launch a community of cargo partners who will strengthen Changi’s capabilities to handle pharmaceutical cargo.

The initiative involves pursuing certification of the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Center of Excellence for Independent Validators on Pharmaceutical Handling (CEIV Pharma).

The IATA CEIV Pharma helps companies comply with existing global pharmaceuticals guidelines. Companies undergoing this process will have to maintain a cargo hold temperature setting of between 10-25 degrees Celsius and ensure appropriate handling from tarmac to loading and unloading. Under the program, companies will undergo training, as well as an assessment of their facilities and processes by independent, IATA-certified auditors to satisfy the strict requirements on pharmaceutical handling before receiving the certification.

CAG will be supporting six companies from different parts of the air cargo supply chain to undergo this certification program, through cost support measures and the coordination of training sessions. The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) will also co-fund the costs for these companies through the provision of assistance grants. The pioneer group of companies in the Changi CEIV Community consists of SIA Cargo, a freighter carrier; dnata Singapore, an airport ground handler; Global Airfreight International; Expeditors Singapore; CEVA Logistics Singapore; and Schenker Singapore, a freight forwarder. SATS Coolport, a major cargo player at Changi Airport, was the first facility in the world to attain the IATA CEIV Pharma certification in 2014. CAG will progressively work with more cargo partners to attain this certification.

Pharmaceutical cargo is one of the fastest growing cargo segments in Changi Airport, and one that CAG is actively promoting,” said Yam Kum Weng, Executive Vice President, Air Hub & Development, Changi Airport Group. “Transporting high-value, temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical cargo can be complex due to the multiple requirements. Today, with dedicated cold chain handling facilities by key cargo partners at Changi, coupled with our excellent connectivity, Changi is well-positioned to be a leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology hub in Asia.”

“The air cargo value chain has an important role in the transportation of life-saving pharmaceutical products and medicines to markets where they are needed, while ensuring the integrity of these pharmaceutical products,” said Conrad Clifford, IATA’s Regional Vice President, Asia Pacific. “Last year, the global pharmaceutical industry spent over $10 billion on cold chain logistics, with the amount expected to exceed $13 billion by 2019.”

A leading cargo hub in Asia and among the top 10 in the world, Changi handled 1.85 million tons of cargo in 2015. Pharmaceuticals are one of the best performing cargo segments, growing a robust 45 percent year-on-year in 2015.