Air Cargo Management

Etihad Cargo to launch new pharma cool chain facility at Abu Dhabi Airport, doubling cool storage capacity

Etihad Cargo is launching a new pharmaceutical cool chain facility that will significantly expand Abu Dhabi International Airport’s pharmaceutical handling and storage.

The cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Aviation Group is working in partnership with Etihad Airport Services and Abu Dhabi Airports to launch the facility, which is due to go into operation soon.

Etihad Cargo said customers would benefit from the carrier’s expanded International Air Transport Association (IATA) Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) pharma certification for pharmaceutical and life science logistics and provision of end-to-end temperature-controlled solutions for the transportation of pharmaceuticals across the carrier’s global network.

Prior to the opening of the new pharmaceutical facility at the carrier’s Abu Dhabi hub, Etihad Cargo transported over 50,000 tonnes of cool chain products, including pharmaceutical and healthcare products via its ‘PharmaLife’ product and fresh produce via its IATA CEIV Fresh-certified FreshForward product, in the past twelve months.

The launch of the expanded, dedicated pharmaceutical hub will double Abu Dhabi Airport’s cool chain storage capacity and enhance the airport’s capabilities for the storage, handling and transportation of cool chain products, Etihad Cargo said.

“Etihad Cargo is proud to have collaborated closely with Etihad Airport Services and Abu Dhabi Airports to launch the new pharmaceutical storage and handling facility. The expanded infrastructure will offer best-in-class pharmaceutical shipment solutions to Etihad Cargo’s customers and is the latest step in supporting Abu Dhabi’s vision to cement its position as a global pharmaceuticals and life sciences hub,” said Martin Drew, senior vice president global sales & cargo at Etihad Aviation Group.

“This joint venture located at Etihad Cargo’s hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport provides the perfect location to link the Middle East to not only Asia and Europe, but also the US and Africa, so life-saving medicines and the latest treatments can be transported seamlessly around the world to those that need them the most. Investment into the carrier’s infrastructure and Abu Dhabi hub will enable Etihad Cargo to meet the future challenges of the pharma supply chain and will play a significant role in co-creating a robust and future-proof healthcare ecosystem here in the UAE and around the world.”

The additional 3,000 square-metre facility comprises the latest technology and features, Etihad Cargo said. This includes bulk loading docks with levellers, high-speed roll-up shutters, insulation and a real-time temperature monitoring system, which will enable faster and more efficient loading with stricter temperature controls, increased storage space, additional build-up and breakdown zones for improved production workflows and upgraded cool chain facilities for Etihad Cargo’s PharmaLife handling and storage operations.

The new facility will also feature new x-ray screening for customs inspections within a fully temperature-controlled environment and new dedicated thermal covers.

“The upcoming launch of this dedicated pharmaceuticals storage and handling facility will enhance Abu Dhabi International Airport’s capabilities as a cargo hub and aligns with Abu Dhabi’s vision of becoming a global business, pharmaceutical and life science hub,” said Steven Polmans, vice president of business development & regulatory affairs at Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone (ADAFZ).

“The strong collaboration between Etihad Cargo, Etihad Airport Services and Abu Dhabi Airports will continue to increase pharmaceutical cargo volumes and further position Abu Dhabi as a major solutions provider in the logistics supply chain.”

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