'cool supply chain the ultimate aim'

ABC awarded IATA’s CEIV Pharma certification

ABC awarded IATA’s CEIV Pharma certification

CCA Member AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), the scheduled cargo carrier arm of the Volga-Dnepr Group, has become the first airline in Russia and only the seventh in the world to be awarded IATA’s Center of Excellence for Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma) certification for the global transportation of pharma products through its cargo hub at Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport.

“Good health is one of our core corporate values so we clearly understand the importance of this certification,” commented Sergey Lazarev, ABC’s general director.

“IATA CEIV is a confirmation that our quality procedures for the transportation of pharma products, including temperature-sensitive goods, fully comply with IATA’s standards.

“Every player in the pharma supply chain must follow strict procedures to ensure products reach consumers in good time and in perfect condition.”

ABC completed the process for CEIV certification in just four months, successfully passing the IATA audit at the end of this period.

“As part of this, we have also delivered specialist pharma training to 200 of our employees. This is one of the first steps on the way to ABC becoming a leading carrier of pharma goods for our customers around the world,” Lazarev declared.

“We are confident that this confirmation of our competency and expertise will allow us to increase our volumes of pharma products across our international route network, including imports and exports to/from Russia,” he continued.

“It will also help us to attract additional transit cargo via Sheremetyevo airport on the Europe-Asia trade lane.

“Through our team’s efforts aimed at the development and promotion of competitive and high quality services, we also hope to attract new business from customers that currently choose to use ground transportation services.”

Robert van de Weg, senior vice president, sales & marketing for Volga-Dnepr Group, added: “Gaining CEIV Pharma certification reflects our commitment to being a high quality service provider and our responsibility to help maintain the integrity of our pharma customers’ cold chains

“We have demonstrated that we have the required processes in place to meet this IATA global standard and to provide the level of quality and consistency that is so paramount to every customer shipping healthcare products.

“Giving customers this level of confidence in our pharma service will ensure we continue to increase our share of this very important part of the air cargo market,” van de Weg said.  

Airport collaboration

CEIV Pharma certification is also seen by ABC as an important milestone in the successful development of the strategic partnership between its parent Volga-Dnepr Group and Sheremetyevo International Airport, a collaboration that aims to promote long-term and mutually beneficial cooperation in such a way as to develop the airport’s role as an international cargo hub.

Joint compliance with CEIV standards by both the airline and airport will help to boost Russia’s pharma airfreight market, ABC pointed out.

“The ambitious target pursued by AirBridgeCargo in creating a pharma hub along with obtaining the CEIV Pharma certification will be supported by the large-scale development programme of Sheremetyevo International Airport,” said Mikhail Vasilenko, Sheremetyevo International Airport’s chief executive.

As part of this development, a new 47,000 sq m automated cargo terminal is expected to be commissioned in 2017. The $85m terminal will initially be capable of handling up to 380,000 tons of cargo a year, bit is planned to have the potential to expand to an annual handling capacity of 1 million tons.

“We are set on building the largest cargo hub in Europe to meet the growing market needs and create favourable conditions for long-term success of our partner airlines,” Vasilenko declared.

The Volga-Dnepr Group has been much in the news of late as it was confirmed last week that its collaboration with Antonov Airlines on the Ruslan An-124 joint venture will come to an end on 31 December.

The two companies created Ruslan in 2006 to jointly market their combined An-124-100 fleets, “with the aim of improving availability of the unique ramp loading cargo aircraft for customers all over the world,” according to Volga-Dnepr.

It noted: “The partnership has provided welcome benefits for both airlines over the past 10 years and, most importantly, ensured the level of An-124 services for customers in industry sectors across the globe.”