Brussels and Miami launch pharma organisation

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Miami-Dade Aviation Department director, Emilio Gonzalez and Brussels Airport head of cargo, Steven Polmans sign the letter of intent

Miami International Airport and Brussels Airport have signed a letter of intent to set up a pharmaceuticals organisation – pharma.aero.

The two gateways announced the partnership at the International Air Cargo Association’s (TIACA) Executive Summit in Miami today.

Both hubs say the organisation will be set up by October this year and it will create a kind of quality pharma trade lane with a focus on developing pharma tools and excellence and improving pharma handling.

Brussels Airport head of cargo, Steven Polmans says the principal aims of pharma.aero will be networking and events (bringing people handling pharma together), creating a standard setting of pharma handling and projects, network excellence and a pharma lane certification.

The two airports will co-operate and share pharma best practices and look to learn from how each other handles pharma cargo, to improve their own processes.

Polmans says the gateways are also in discussion with other airports and also pharma shippers about joining pharma.aero, but would not reveal who at this stage might join up, only saying they are “big names” and significant industry players.

Any joining pharma.aero, must have achieved the International Air Transport Association’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma) certification, which Brussels and Miami are certified at.

Polmans also says the organisation may also lead to more routes connecting the two cities, but that is not the main aim, but he says pharma shippers are looking to scale down the routes they use and focus on ones where standards are high.

He adds that around $3.5 billion is lost through temperature excursions and this is something Brussels and Miami both want to fix.

Miami-Dade Aviation Department director, Emilio Gonzalez notes there is synergies between the two airports and it was a natural step, while both hubs are CEIV certified for their air cargo communities.

Gonzalez adds that pharma cargo provides a high return and is also a low weight product and both airports share the same goal of growing their pharma volumes.