Tag: Technical Committee

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 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.

New Risk Management Committee launched

We have launched our first project under the Technical Committee Programme, which aims is to assist, analyse, study, and manage critical points affecting product quality along the cool chain, as well as developing standards, and initiating projects.

Under the sponsorship of our Board member Eric Mauroux, the Risk Management Committee includes shipper, airline, and forwarder members, led by Stefan Braun, Managing Director of SmartCAE.

“The group will focus on developing digital risk management strategies in order to move towards more efficient and smarter pharma and perishable supply chains,” said Mauroux, 

“We will identify case studies to help us adapt solutions, which are cost-effective and sustainable, as key drivers to reducing the risk of waste.”

Committee members include: Rogier Rook, Logistics Director, Nature’s Pride; Kamil Rarak, Special Cargo Product Development and Training Manager; LOT Polish Airline; and, Xavier Ripoll, Sales and Marketing Director, Able Freight, with a pharmaceutical company due to join soon.

“We need to collect the right information and bring trust to the table so that we can come up with smart cost-effective solutions,

understand the actual cost of inefficiencies and move away from over engineered solutions,” said Mauroux.

“CCA is a neutral party that can help reconcile the virtual world with real historical data and develop positive solutions where the total cost reflects what is needed to get the job done.”

Under the Technical Committee program, CCA members who are not Board members can volunteer to become Project Coordinators, responsible for the facilitation of initiatives and the proposal of final solutions to the Board. If you have a project in mind, please contact  cca@meantime.global

Picture caption: Pictured left to right top Kamil Rarak, Special Cargo Product Development and Training Manager, LOT Polish Airlines; Rogier Rook, Logistics Director, Nature’s Pride; left to right bottom Stefan Braun, Managing Director, SmartCAE; Xavier Ripoll, Sales and Marketing Director, Able Freight; and Eric Mauroux, CCA Board member and President of Freshbizdev.

Cool Chain Association welcomes two new members and kicks off its Technical Committee with a risk management project

LOT Polish Airlines and Tower Cold Chain are the latest members to join the Cool Chain Association

Luxembourg, Wednesday 9th February 2022The Cool Chain Association (CCA) has continued to grow its membership with the addition of LOT Polish Airlines and Tower Cold Chain.

The Association, whose members collaborate towards improving quality in the temperature-sensitive supply chain, has also announced the formation of a new committee looking into risk management as part of its Technical Committee programme.

LOT is the sixth airline to join CCA’s growing membership.

“By joining the CCA and taking part in the Risk Management Committee, we hope to create common global standards and work towards a safe environment for handling pharmaceutical and healthcare products across the temperature-controlled supply chain,” said Kamil Rarak, Special Cargo Product Development and Training Manager, LOT Polish Airlines.

“We were awarded the International Air Transport Association Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma) Certificate in 2020 and we are focused on supporting our global business partners in the field of healthcare products.”

Tower Cold Chain, supplies specialist temperature-controlled containers.

“We are delighted to join the CCA and look forward to collaborating to ensure pharmaceuticals are handled and transported by means of robust, reliable, reusable solutions,” said Nick Gilmore, Global Head of Sales and Marketing, Tower Cold Chain.

“Through working together, Tower can better assist the temperature-sensitive supply chain to reduce excursions and waste and improve sustainability, to benefit the pharmaceutical community.”

The CCA’s Risk Management Committee, which held its first full meeting last week, is sponsored by CCA Board member Eric Mauroux, President of Freshbizdev, and includes shipper, airline, and forwarder members, led by Stefan Braun, Managing Director of SmartCAE.

“The group will focus on developing digital risk management strategies in order to move towards more efficient and smarter pharma and perishable supply chains,” said Mauroux,

“We will identify case studies to help us adapt solutions, which are cost-effective and sustainable, as key drivers to reducing the risk of waste.”

Committee members include: Rogier Rook, Logistics Director, Nature’s Pride; Kamil Rarak, Special Cargo Product Development and Training Manager; LOT Polish Airlines; and, Xavier Ripoll, Sales and Marketing Director, Able Freight, with a pharmaceutical company due to join later this week.

The Risk Management Committee is part of CCA’s newly-launched Technical Committee programme, which aims is to assist, analyse, study, and manage critical points affecting product quality along the cool chain, as well as developing standards, and initiating projects.

CCA members who are not Board members can volunteer to become Project Coordinators, responsible for the facilitation of initiatives and the proposal of final solutions to the Board.

CCA Board members sponsor the projects.

The CCA holds two events a year, one for pharmaceuticals and one for perishables. The pharmaceuticals event for this year has been confirmed and will take place in Athens.


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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