The 5th Cool Chain Association conference in Budapest, Hungary was not only the most successful yet, but it was also incredibly timely. While the air cargo industry, broadly speaking, is enjoying healthy growth, the transportation of pharmaceuticals by air freight is one particular sector of the industry that is growing even stronger.
The sponsors and delegates of the event were, once again, fundamental to how well the show performed. A thank you from the organizers to all those who supported the event, support which was absolutely crucial to how the show performed. This growth and the discussion it inevitably promotes, was at the core of the CCA’s 5th Pharma and Biosciences event. A feature and characteristic of the discussions that took place in Budapest were that they offered a first-hand experience perspective of handling pharma products for air cargo.
First things first; Chairman and host’s welcome
Following delegate registration and lunch, the chairman opened the conference to applause and excitement. Stavros Evangelakakis, Global Product Manager at Cargolux presided as chairman of the conference.
Handling, data and packaging for pharma
Day one of the conference provided a comprehensive account of what it is like and what it entails to handle pharma products: handling, using data, designing and using specific packaging and how to use cold storage. Alan Dorling, Global Head, Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences at IAG Cargo, presented the case for how to handle pharma shipments. Handling pharma products, which has changed drastically over time, Dorling contended, is ‘more important now than ever.’
Innovation in the supply chain must push the very best standard of practice in handling pharma products, as the industry overcomes some of the obstacles and challenges that handlers face. Following a talk on using data in pharma transport by Fen Lasseel, Product and Business Development for SkyFresh, delegates networked over coffee and other refreshments. A presentation by Sharjah Airport then preceded another networking opportunity: lunch.
Following lunch, Mark Mohr, Customer Support & Partner Management at CSafe Global gave a presentation on packaging and reverse logistics and Layland Barker, Owner and Managing Director of TITAN Containers spoke on portable cold storage.
Continuing the insider perspective theme of the event, Luigi Braga, Area Distribution Manager South EMEA, SC Integrated Planning and Logistics at Abbvie gave a presentation on a day in the life of a shipper, discussing the current situation regarding air freight pharma.
Roundtable discussions then followed afternoon tea in the exhibition hall, until the chairman of the event gave a conclusive summary.
Networking drinks and dinner closed the night of a very successful day, allowing ample time to unwind.
A Day in the Life of a Shipper
Although the Cool Chain Association's conference in Budapest concluded on a half-day, there was no sign of the discussion winding down slowly. Following a talk by Elad Gadot, Executive Director of Corposec on security aspects of pharma, one of the most notable forums for discussion at the event was the 'A Day in the Life of a Pharma Shipment' panel discussion. Representatives of top airports, such as Miami and Schiphol, came together to discuss the relationship between the shipper and the airport and how this can be improved upon.
The panel discussion consisted of Ferry van der Ent - Head of Cargo | Director Business Development Cargo, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Jimmy Nares - Section Chief, Aviation Marketing | Miami- Dade Aviation Dept and Jaisey Yip - Associate General Manager, Cargo & Logistics/Air Hub Innovation | Changi Airport.
Miami, being the biggest airport for international air cargo shipments, had a lot to say on the relationship between itself as an airport and the shipper, a relationship which it considers good but there can always be improvement.
The panel noted that to improve the ability to handle and ship pharma between airports, actual financial investment must be undertaken, but more qualitative improvements such as an increase in communication between the shipper and the airport and increased transparency are equally as important.
Ideally, shippers and airports should know the exact same information; a collective effort on information.
In the future, the panel suggested a much larger focus on special cargo will take place; there will be more pressure on the need for investment and the solutions that investments can facilitate and, ultimately, how the relationship of the airport and the shipper can be consolidated.
A global perspective of collaboration
The final panel discussion of the conference involved Gino Vleugels, Senior Manager, EMEA Temperature Control | Johnson & Johnson, Eddy Weygaerts, Transportation Manager | Pfizer, Nina Heinz, Global Head of Network & Quality Temperature Management Solutions, DHL Global Forwarding, Nathan de Valck, Chairman | Pharma.Aero, Debby Mattys, Associate Director, Compliance Operations EMEA, Global Logistics, MSD | Merck & Co. Inc.
The members of the panel, led by Pharma.Aero, presented a global perspective on collaboration in the cool supply chain. It was clear: collaboration is incredibly important.
Last stop on the aviation calendar: D-town.
The Cool Chain Association’s 5th Pharma & BioSciences Conference in Budapest was another well-attended, though-provoking forum for the cool logistics and supply chain industry.
An audience of delegates and sponsors listened to a number of speakers and panel discussions present and discuss pressing issues in the prominent sector of cool chain logistics.
The event brought together Cool Chain industry leaders to discuss pressing challenges facing the industry today and what the future holds.
Join the Cool Chain Association again, at the end of the year, in Dallas, Texas, where it will hold its third event in the Americas – 3-5 December at the Dallas Hilton DFW Lakes.