Tag: Airfreight Pharma

Collaboration is key to an efficient cool chain

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.

Cool Chain Association releases perishables best practice video and launches new pharma trial

The Cool Chain Association (CCA) launched a best practice video for perishables handling at Airfreight Pharma today (21st September), based on key findings from recent trials by CCA member Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB).

The educational video presents learnings from PPECB’s two perishables trials, which examined pain points in the transportation of raspberries and cut flowers from South Africa to the UK and Europe, and advises optimal handling procedures to protect product integrity and maximise shelf-life.

With these key objectives in mind, the video explores various stages of the perishables chain, highlighting good agricultural practices, requirements surrounding fresh air ventilation and taint, and recommendations for thermal protection of perishable products, including cartons, packaging, and labelling.

The guidance also covers optimal aircraft loading and transport procedures, and cold storage and pre-cooling of perishable products, offering advice on specific temperatures found to be optimal during trials.

“We have taken the results of our recent flower and raspberry trials and put them into a practical format to enable the entire industry to benefit from these learnings,” said Vijan Chetty, CCA Board Director and General Manager, PPECB at Airfreight Pharma.

“By adopting these optimal practices, the industry can hope to address the vast waste that occurs in the perishables supply chain.”

Following the success of its perishables trials and resulting best practice video, the CCA believes further research and trials are called for.

The CCA announced that it will partner with member Lamprecht Pharma Logistics AG (Lamprecht) to launch a new trial following pharmaceuticals shipments.

“Lamprecht Pharma Logistics will head up a pharmaceuticals trial with the CCA to track the most critical parts of the pharmaceutical supply chain, identifying pain points to further optimise performance,” said Felix Johannes, Commercial Representative Operations, Lamprecht.

The new trial will launch in the fourth quarter of 2023.

To view the best practise video, click here.


(Left to right) Stavros Evangelakakis, Chairman, CCA, and Global Product Manager, Cargolux Airlines; Felix Johannes, Commercial Representative Operations, Lamprecht; Vijan Chetty, CCA Board Director and General Manager, PPECB.

(Left to right) Vijan Chetty, CCA Board Director and General Manager, PPECB; Stavros Evangelakakis, Chairman, CCA and Global Product Manager, Cargolux Airlines; Fabrizio Iacobacci, CCA Board Director andChief of Innovation and Operations Officer, BCUBE Air Cargo Spa; Miguel Rodríguez Moreno, CCA Treasurer and Head of Cargo Products, Qatar Airways.

Cool Chain Association identifies avoidable supply chain pain points in its second tracking trial of perishables

The Cool Chain Association (CCA)’s second tracking trial of perishables undertaken by its member the Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB) has identified significant areas where action can be taken to reduce food loss.

PPECB tracked consignments of raspberries, which have a very low shelf life, from South Africa to the UK as part of an ongoing project with the CCA to identify pain points in the cool supply chain in order to develop best handling practices for perishables.

Results announced at the CCA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) today suggest that the cut-to-cool time, taken to bring the berries down to a temperature of around 5 ̊C, should be reduced to within 60 minutes of harvest to better maintain berry quality during storage.

In addition the trial indicated that a lower air temperature of 0 ̊C rather than the current 2 ̊C should be used for blast cooling.

Owing to their highly limited shelf-life, raspberries can only be transported by airfreight, but their delicate nature makes them prone to damage en route.

The goal of the trial is to optimise produce quality in the market by adapting current handling processes and bringing airfreight cold chain management protocols up to the same standard as those for sea freight.

The trial followed an export of raspberries from a farm in Cape Town, South Africa, where some 85 percent of raspberries are produced for the export market, to the United Kingdom.

“Approximately 30 percent of all berry exports from South Africa to market have quality defects,” said Vijan Chetty, General Manager, PPECB and Board of Director, CCA.

“In order to mitigate this food loss, we need further research and trials into how handling practices can be optimised.

“The results of our two trials have already highlighted several actionable measures that can be taken to protect product integrity and our continued research will help the CCA to hone a best practise framework to prevent spoilage and waste in the perishables supply chain,” said Chetty.

The trial assessed a number of factors including the quality of raspberries on the farm, temperature management throughout the trade lane, handling processes, and a final quality evaluation on arrival at the end destination.

Temperature fluctuations in the packhouse, in flight, and at the destination handling facility, while unavoidable, should be significantly reduced in duration to further minimise the incidence of quality defects.

Future research will see timed temperature tolerance trials performed to determine the duration of exposure to a particular temperature beyond which berry quality and shelf life are compromised.

Additional investigation to measure the internal temperature of the fruit, which changes more rapidly than external air temperature, may also be conducted, as well as deeper research into handling protocol upon arrival.

In March, the CCA was involved in a similar perishables study with the PPECB, monitoring the farm-to-table export of cut flowers from South Africa to Europe.

CCA’s next event will be as part of the Airfreight Pharma event in Athens, Greece from the 5th to the 7th of September.

PPECB’s in-house research department, which analyses quality and food safety standards is working with CCA to develop a body of data to be used to suggest best practices for the perishables supply chain.

Cool Chain Association celebrates its 20th anniversary and signs MoU with Perishable Products Export Control Board

 The Cool Chain Association (CCA) is celebrating its 20th anniversary and entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB), which will see collaboration into research initiatives about airfreight of perishables.

CCA was established in 2002 to encourage collaboration in the temperature-controlled supply chain industry in order to reduce food loss and waste in the perishables sector as well as benefiting the pharma community.

The MoU, signed at the CCA’s Airfreight Pharma Event, means that CCA and the PPECB will collaborate on analysing research initiatives into perishable exports by air from South Africa.

“CCA is in a unique position to act as a neutral platform for all sectors in the temperature-controlled supply chain to collaborate on tangible initiatives,” said Stavros Evangelakakis, Chairman, CCA, and Head of Global Healthcare, Cargolux Airlines.

“Our community is celebrating its 20th anniversary at a time when it is more vital than ever to come together to make a difference.

“We are proud that our members continue to do just that and are driving new ideas that will have a lasting legacy.”

CCA’s recent initiatives include the establishment of a Technical Committee to drive projects, which will benefit the cool supply chain, including a Risk Management project and a trial of a new perishables label.

The PPECB provides for the control of perishable products intended for export from the Republic of South Africa and has its own in-house research department, analysing quality and food safety standards.

“The primary aim of the research is to identify gaps in the airfreight value chain and discuss possible mitigation measures with CCA and the airfreight industry at large,” said Vijan Chetty, Board Member, CCA, and General Manager, PPECB.

“The aim is to strengthen standards and educate the role players in the airfreight industry.”

CCA has been steadily growing its membership over the last few months and is planning a new perishables conference for next year.

“Having had the honour of kicking off the creation of the association at TIACA’s Bilbao Air Cargo Forum, I am delighted to wish the Cool Chain Association a very Happy 20th Anniversary,” said Ram Menen, one of the founders of the CCA.

“It has been a real pleasure to watch this association bloom and go from strength to strength and I wish them continued success in the years to come.”

To find out more about joining CCA or taking part in a project for the Technical Committee, contact Ebele Nwakude at cca@meantime.global.

To find out more about the PPECB, visit ppecb.com.

Working together to improve the temperature-sensitive supply chain to reduce food loss and waste in the perishables sector as well as benefiting the pharma community.

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