The airside ‘missing link’ pharma dolly launched by Brussels Airport

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Brussels Airport launched its Airside Pharma Transporter at The International Air Cargo Association’s (TIACA) Air Cargo Forum yesterday, which has been developed to solve issues airside in the movement of pharmaceutical cargo.

The gateway and its cargo community collaborated to develop the dolly, including DHL, Expeditors, Panalpina, K+N, Brussels Airlines Cargo, Jan de Rijk Logistics, Expeditors and others, while pharma shippers were also part of the development.

Brussels has acquired four dollies that can be rented by operators at the airport through a booking system. The concept is owned by SPS. The airport envisages a need to acquire more dollies due to the interest shown.

The transporter is a trailer on which a refrigerated unit with insulated walls is mounted and a major innovation is that the technology allows the temperature and location of the refrigerated transporter to be monitored in real-time.

The dolly operates with solar panels so the refrigerated unit can adopt or retain the required temperature at any time. It can be used for 36 hours in the summer and 24 hours in the winter. The transporter is for lower deck usage and the temperature of the dolly can be set for between +5 to +25 degrees Celsius.

Brussels Airport first introduced the Airside Pharma Transporter last year for the pharma sector in Belgium, but it has been renewed and the innovations have been made to meet challenging requirements, especially for areas of extreme weather. The transporter is not only energy neutral, but also more efficient and a larger number of transports per day is possible.

Speaking at the launch in Paris, Brussels Airlines Cargo vice president of global cargo, Alban Francois says the transporter is the “missing link” in the supply chain and it he hopes the carrier can use the dolly not only in Brussels but also across the globe to meet needs and demands.

His views over the dolly being the “missing link” were echoed by chiefs from freight forwarder Expeditors who say they can now extend their relationships on pharma cargo from Brussels Airport, such as to the US with American Airlines Cargo.

Brussels Airport Company chief executive officer, Arnaud Feist says: “The pharmaceutical branch is one of the most important sectors in our country and has a large added value for our economy. It is therefore essential that we offer the required customised service when they export their products.

“We innovated earlier with IATA by developing the CEIV guarantee certificate for the cold chain; our airport was also the first to achieve this worldwide standard.

“With the new ‘Airside Pharma Transporter’ we have developed an efficient product that, thanks to the solar panels, is also extremely environmentally friendly.”