CoolChainAssociation

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Vienna Airport Ground Handling Services

Vienna Cool Cargo Center for Pharmaceuticals 

Vienna Airport Handling Services, the strategic business area of Flughafen Wien AG for ground and freight handling services at Vienna Airport, has opened its GDP Compliant Pharma Handling Center (VPHC) in December 2018 to serve as the Central European Pharmceutical Hub for Temperature-Sensitive Medical Supplies.

The quick and highly specialised handling of medicines directly from aircraft to the roadways or vice versa is offered by the newly opened Vienna Pharma Handling Center (VPHC) at Vienna Airport. It enables the airport to position itself as a major pharmaceutical hub in Central Europe, making it possible to rapidly transport temperature-sensitive medical supplies to up to 23 countries within one and a half days of travel time.

Strict adherence to specified temperatures and the rapid availability of medicines comprise the cornerstones of the business in the pharmaceutical industry. Accordingly, the demands placed on suitable handling are high and restrictive. The opening of the Vienna Pharma Handling Center enables Vienna Airport to specialise in a niche with promising growth perspectives, in light of the fact that the needs of the pharmaceutical sector in Austria and in neighbouring Eastern European countries has strongly increased in recent years. 


According to airport estimates, the volume of pharmaceutical air cargo will at least double from 2018 to 2019, rising to between 7,700 and 16,700 tonnes. Austria’s national pharmaceutical sector alone employs about 18,000 people and is responsible for value creation of approx. € 9.6 billion or about 2.8% of the nation’s GDP (Austrian Statistical Office, 2016).

Cargo volume at Vienna Airport has increased fivefold since the opening of Eastern European borders in 1989 and the transport of medical products is a growth market. Thanks to the new Pharma Handling Center, Vienna Airport is the only airport in Central Europe to offer a complete end-to-end solution, featuring an uninterrupted cool chain, quick handling processes and short turnaround times between air, road and rail transport. In the future, 23 countries can be reached within one and a half days via the Vienna pharmaceutical hub, and fifteen countries can even be supplied with medicines within 24 hours of travel time. 

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