Undergoing International Air Transport Association Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (IATA CEIV) certification has helped Delta Cargo enhance cool chain operations, the carrier tells Air Cargo Week.
Delta Cargo was awarded IATA CEIV over the summer, making it the first US global passenger carrier to receive the accolade, covering the headquarters and Atlanta operations.
This has created the first trans-Atlantic CEIV certified network with partners, stations and handlers in Amsterdam, Brussels, Milan, Paris and Rome having also undergone the process.
The airline says: “We have strong policies and procedures in place at all our station facilities, and our employees are all focused on quality and continuous improvement.”
Customers have been very happy, with Delta commenting: “We have received very positive customer responses since we achieved CEIV certification in Atlanta and we anticipate strong demand for the rest of the year.”
Undergoing certification means processes and procedures are consistent across the airline’s network.
Delta says: “This ensures that we are safeguarding and transporting pharmaceutical products with the highest level of excellence and in line with international and national compliance improvement. We now also have a more robust CAPA and quality management system that drives continuous improvements.”
Having partners who are also certified is an added bonus for customers. Air France KLM Martinair Cargo are certified for all operations in Amsterdam and Paris, and Delta says: “Having both airlines CEIV certified provides our customers with complete peace of mind that their shipments are moving through a strong cold chain regardless of which airlines aircraft the shipment is on. Our customer will also now have access to more markets and capacity.”
Making sure cool chain products are handled appropriately is very important.
Delta Cargo ensures that they only move through pharma certified stations in its network, saying: “All locations adhere to the same set of pharma acceptance and handling procedures that are based on the IATA Temperature Control Regulations and Annex 5 WHO good distribution practices for pharmaceutical products guidelines.”
Gaining the IATA CEIV certificate is not the end of the process, companies must continue to improve and innovate.
Delta Cargo is looking to expand its pharma station network as well as the number of stations that have CEIV certification over the coming months.
The industry is moving towards a global standard for the transportation of pharmaceuticals, and Delta Cargo says being the first US based passenger airline to gain CEIV puts it at the forefront of this transformation.
Delta says: “Currently airlines are the weak link in the logistics supply chain of moving pharmaceutical shipments however with globally harmonised industry-developed standards such as IATA’s CEIV, customers can stand assured that the air cargo industry is doing its part to reduce damage and loss to shipments due to temperature deviations and excursions.”
A major problem the industry needs to overcome, Delta says is inconsistent regulations.
It says: “One of the main challenges in the air cargo industry is the absence of a single global regulatory framework around the movement of cool chain cargo. There are different national regulations and controls in place that can often conflict with each other.”