On September 29, FCS Frankfurt Cargo Services successfully concluded the
CEIV certification process, confirming that the company officially meets the
high standards that apply to transportation of pharmaceutical products. The
International Air Transport Association (IATA) gives this certification to
companies that can ensure high quality across the board for sensitive medical
products. With vital deliveries of large quantities of vaccine for the novel
coronavirus likely to be needed in the near future, these kinds of handling
options are becoming more important than ever before.
“The requirements that apply to safe storage and transportation of pharmaceutical
products have been evolving steadily in recent years. Pharmaceutical handling is
very demanding. It requires clear and stable processes for product safety. Earning
certification according to the IATA CEIV standard confirms to us and our customers
the quality of FCS’s longstanding activities in this segment,” says Stefan Kassau,
manager processes and pharma handling at FCS.
He adds, “It is the basis and incentive for continuing and building on our successful work and guaranteeing our customers that their pharmaceutical consignments will be handled safely at Frankfurt Airport.”
The certification adds value for FCS in terms of the company’s own competencies as
well. The IATA audit found the internal training on handling pharmaceutical products
that is incorporated into the FCS training concept according to IATA CEIV
specifications to be good.
A smooth and uninterrupted cold chain is vital to reliable pharmaceutical logistics.
Many pharmaceutical products are very sensitive to even the slightest fluctuations in
temperature, and some can even lose efficacy. This makes well-trained staff
essential, alongside high-performance warehouses with stable refrigeration and
“In the course of the certification process, the FCS special warehouses were
equipped with a state-of-the-art new temperature monitoring system and underwent
an in-depth audit. Functionality and safety for the products was confirmed by the
necessary temperature mapping activities,” says Christoph Cyranek, manager
quality assurance and performance improvement at FCS. “As part of our preparations
for the logistics involving Covid-19 vaccines that is presumably coming up, this
certification comes at just the right time, of course. As the first step, we already
decided to expand our existing infrastructure so even more handling space can be
provided for active refrigerated containers,” he notes.
The next big step, what is known as GDP certification, is also coming up soon. EU
“good distribution practice” (GDP) certification for medical products for human use,
like CEIV certification, serves to monitor the distribution chain with an eye to the
quality and intactness of medicinal products. Unlike CEIV certification, however, it
addresses a larger segment of the economy, since GDP certification relates to the
entire process of transportation from the producer through to the end customer,
independent of airfreight.
Working in tandem with other companies based at Frankfurt Airport that also have
CEIV certification, like Fraport Ground Services, a safe, high-quality transportation
chain at Frankfurt Airport can be ensured between cargo and apron handlers and
airlines. This makes Frankfurt Airport even more attractive as a transshipment point
for the pharmaceutical industry, which is especially strong in Germany.