Marc Claesen, senior vice president commercial EMEAA, Worldwide Flight Services explains the process behind gaining the CEIV and GDP certifications. WFS recently gained both CEIV and GDP certification at their Madrid facility.
“GDP certifications demonstrate WFS’ ability to meet the temperature control and product integrity requirements of the pharmaceutical industry. This is very important for our airline clients in terms of supporting their premium products for pharma transportation and, in turn, helps them to meet the shipping standards their freight forwarding customers must meet. So, it’s all connected and critical for patient care. Our investments from a pharma handling perspective show our commitment to upholding end-to-end temperature-controlled cold chains and show we are a responsible partner to the other stakeholders in the chain.
“If you start from scratch – and assuming that the facility is already fully equipped with a cooling system and has on-site pharma-trained staff – you will need approximately 1 year to create the documentation and perform the required mapping data (empty, winter, summer). For CEIV it’s similar, you need to allow one year to gain the initial certification.
“But if you are planning to obtain GDP certification in a cargo facility which already has IATA CEIV Pharma certification, you can prepare and update the required documentation within a maximum of two months because the documentation and mapping reports will have already been validated during the CEIV certification process.
“Our teams of cargo handling specialists at WFS stations around the world understand the important role air cargo plays in the global distribution of pharma products. They have also seen how volumes of these products have increased in recent years, and the strong focus of our customers to also develop solutions for a wide range of pharma shipments. As a global leader in cargo handling, our staff and our customers expect WFS to be at the forefront of changes in our industry to ensure our compliance with global regulations, and to help our airline clients develop premium pharma products with confidence, knowing we have the facilities and highly-trained, knowledgeable staff in place to meet our responsibility. The pandemic and the resulting shipments of vaccines around the world has only heightened this awareness.
“Ultimately, it is nearly always the shipper that drives the preference between CEIV and GDP. We also have some airlines that prefer us to have GDP certifications and others which state IATA CEIV as their preference. We are approaching this on a station-by-station basis and in close consultation with customers in these locations. We are showing we can be agile to their needs and that WFS is willing to invest in certification programmes when and where we see opportunities which benefit all parties. Ultimately, at airports where we hold both certifications, we are optimising the growth opportunities for WFS and our customers.”