Collaboration is key to an efficient cool chain

September 28, 2023
Collaboration is key to an efficient cool chain image
Trevor Caswell, Chair, Pharma.Aero (left) and Stavros Evangelakakis, CCA Chairman of the Board and Global Product Manager, Cargolux (right).

During a joint interview held at the Airfreight Pharma Conference in Athens, Pharma.Aero and the Cool Chain Association (CCA) underscored the pressing need for increased collaboration within the industry. This spirit of cooperation was demonstrated by their co-hosted afternoon at Airfreight Pharma on Thursday, September 21st.

Power of the many

“Attempting to implement change in the cool chain as individual actors can seem, and often is, exceedingly difficult to achieve. The success of our industry is dependent on each actor working together effectively, and this same network should be used to improve the cool chain,” said Stavros Evangelakakis, Chairman, CCA, and Head of Global Healthcare, Cargolux.

“We believe that leveraging the collective knowledge of the industry is key to successfully enhancing the efficiency, productivity, and resilience of the cool chain.”

The CCA facilitates such collaboration through its Technical Committee. Most recently, CCA member PPECB worked with the committee to develop and run a series of trials tracking pain points across perishables shipments. Data from these trials has been used to create a training video to assist the air freight industry in understanding complex problems from farm to consumer.  

“By partnering with Pharma.Aero at Airfreight Pharma the CCA hopes to demonstrate that collaboration between associations is the next step in driving large-scale research trials with stakeholders across the supply chain.

“We look forward to working more closely with Pharma.Aero in the future,” said Evangelakakis.

Learnings from the pandemic

“The pandemic was one of the first global examples in recent decades that proved we can’t solve a crisis unless we start collaborating outside our company and nation borders,” said Frank Van Gelder, Secretary General, Pharma.Aero.

Post-COVID, boundaries between different industries have become increasingly blurred, contributing to cross-industry exchange of knowledge and experiences which increases growth, innovation, and sustainable success. This collaborative community facilitates access to specialised expertise and resources, contributing to the fast acceleration of innovation and fuelling a culture of creativity. 

Cross-industry collaboration

For Pharma.Aero fostering collaboration is not a new idea, it has been embedded in the association’s vision, mission, and strategy from the beginning.

“As a non-profit platform we have, over the years, brought several Pharmaceutical and Medtech manufacturers together with different airfreight stakeholders,” said Van Gelder.

“In 2021 we focused on inviting academics to help Pharma.Aero create a Pharma logistics ecosystem for both research and business that serves the industry by providing content through different projects.”

Both the CCA and Pharma.Aero are focused on working with academics and researchers to ensure their associations represent a wide range of professionals. These cross-industry partnerships create rich and truly neutral ecosystems that benefit the airfreight industry, and ultimately the end-to-end synchro-modal.

While cross-industry collaboration might seem easy, Van Gelder asserts that “over the years we have learned that it takes hard work to make it happen.”

Future-proofing the industry

“We at Pharma.Aero are convinced that you are as strong as your own limitations of thinking. Therefore, we embrace collaboration in order to approach different future challenges such as sustainability from different angles, as only then will we have a chance to succeed,” said Van Gelder.

“Sustainability has become a humanitarian problem and it is a confronting example that only by collaborating can we stand stronger.”

Airfreight Pharma

During this year’s Airfreight Pharma conference, the Cool Chain Association and Pharma.Aero co-presented a seminar on “Building pharmaceutical supply chain ecosystems: Challenge and opportunity.” They emphasised the value of partnerships between organisations like the CCA and Pharma.Aero in addressing shared supply chain challenges and expressed their intent to enhance their collaborative efforts moving forward.

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