Keeping it fresh in Dallas

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Are perishables treated with the same care and dedication as pharmaceutical products when transported by air cargo? That was on the mind of the Cool Chain Association chairman Stavros Evangelakakis on the first day of the Cool Chain Association’s second Pharma and Perishables conference in Dallas, Texas on December 3. The two-day conference split between the transport of perishables and pharma.

The event, with the support of American Airlines Cargo, SkyCell, dnata, Air France KLM and the conference host, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, started with a stark message: a third of all food in the US is wasted or lost. Evangelakakis suggested implementing the same standards seen in the healthcare industry to perishables to ensure this level of wastage is dramatically lowered.

From transporting avocados to cherries to flowers; the best methods to maximise the accuracy of measuring the temperature inside ULDs, the perspectives of the cargo handlers, airport and airlines, the discussion on perishables urged that now was the time to guarantee customers the best service as the sector reaches its point of maturation.

A number of industry experts discussed – with great passion – the urge for care and high standards in transporting perishables. Perishable cargo includes food and “food is life,” and vastly important for the world as stated by Able Freight’s sales and marketing director Xavier Ripoll.

The second day showed that a great deal of care and deep thought was given to the importance of care and standards in pharma transportation; the day opened with a panel discussion on shipping pharma and the process involved, headed by Brandon Fried of the Airforwarders Association.

It was remarked that cool chain standards and care have only been seriously in place since 2008/2009. Pharma used to be shipped as general cargo in some instances. Although a great deal of progress has been made “we’re not where we should be,” according to the panel.

The second Pharma and Perishables conference ended with a group of table discussions as the industry leaders of the association came together in collaboration to strengthen the community of cool chain logistics providers.