Schiphol takes next step in creating excellence in pharma by air

March 16th 2016

The Amsterdam Airport Schiphol logistics community has launched a closed pharma chain programme that will be IATA CEIV Pharma-certified, and will offer pharma manufacturers new levels of transparency. The announcement was made during the IATA World Cargo Symposium in Berlin.

The initiative is the brain-child of Schiphol’s Pharma Task Force, launched in July 2015 by Air Cargo Netherlands, the Dutch Air Cargo Industry Association, and supported by a number of organisations at the airport.

The new pharma chain has been branded “Pharma Gateway Amsterdam – Qualified & Transparent”. Its objective is to create a ‘closed’ pharma chain at the airport, further developing Schiphol’s pharma proposition. Schiphol is already one of Europe’s largest gateways for pharma traffic.

Pharma Gateway Amsterdam aims to support a certified track from the shipper, all the way to the consignee; it will achieve this locally by involving airlines, handlers, hauliers and logistics service providers – all of which will be certified to the IATA CEIV Pharma standard. For imports, this means covering the unloading of aircraft, ramp transfers, first line handling (through the handling agent), transport to the second line (forwarder warehouse) and any handling carried out there, then haulage to the consignee or distribution centre. This all-inclusive approach will ensure the integrity of shipments remains intact.

IATA CEIV has been selected as the basis for Pharma Gateway Amsterdam, as it builds on the storage-centric scope of GDP by covering all air cargo processes, and provides a uniform global set of standards without any scope for localised interpretation. Participants in Pharma Gateway Amsterdam are benefiting from cooperative and competitive knowledge sharing.

By the time of its unveiling at IATA WCS, Pharma Gateway Amsterdam had already recruited WFS, DNATA, Swissport, Air France – KLM – Martinair Cargo, De Jong Special Services, D.J. Middelkoop & Zn., Jan de Rijk Logistics, IJS Global/GEFCO, VCK Logistics, Yusen Logistics and Cyberfreight as members; more companies are expected to join in the near future. Pharma manufacturers will continue to deal direct with their chosen suppliers, but will also be able to contact the neutral Pharma Gateway Amsterdam administration for unbiased additional information and a full list of participants.

Driving force behind the Pharma Gateway Amsterdam programme is Ferry van der Ent of Air Cargo Netherlands, who says: “Pharma Gateway Amsterdam goes well beyond a simple marketing programme. This new body is tackling the entire proposition of Schiphol Airport for pharma manufacturers, and is commercially neutral.  We’ll provide a transparent and qualified process, which can be fully monitored.

“We are targeting quality and transparency by closely linking all service providers, and setting uniform standards and procedures. At the same time, we’ll continue to offer shippers and their forwarders a choice of partners in their new, closed supply chain.”

He continues: “We have adopted CEIV as our base, as it’s the only truly worldwide standard today. Slowly but surely, more logistics partners are choosing CEIV, driven by shipper demand. And, although it’s not  mandatory yet, it may be in the future. We cannot rule out the adoption of even higher standards in due course.”

Schiphol is banking on its supportive Customs, state-of-the-art facilities, mainport network and technical innovations – such as real time temperature measurement – to ensure Pharma Gateway Amsterdam will achieve its full potential. Concludes van der Ent: “Pharma Gateway Amsterdam builds on the best that has been achieved anywhere in the world so far, and takes it to a new level. We feel we have taken the next step in promoting excellence in pharma transportation by air.”

The website and branding of the Pharma Gateway Amsterdam will be an integral part of Schiphol Cargo’s worldwide promotion, in support of the cargo community.

Future plans for Pharma Gateway Amsterdam include real time monitoring on the ramp on a collective basis, similar to the airport’s current “Milkrun” transport collaboration.