Brussels Airport steps up infrastructure and tech investments for temp-sensitive products
Jan 14, 2019: Brussels Airport, European hub that handles pharmaceuticals in large volume, has invested in new infrastructure and products and also integrated new technologies such as blockchain as part of its services, to ensure safe transport of temperature-sensitive commodity.
“We are also developing innovative solutions based on new technology such as blockchain, which is used on our digital platform BRUcloud, and allows all stakeholders to track in real time the route of the transported goods,” says Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company.
As the world’s first airport to be awarded the CEIV quality certificate for its cargo division in 2014, Brussels Airport is internationally regarded as the standard for the carriage of temperature-sensitive products, such as medicines and vaccines.
Belgium is a leading hub in Europe and the world at large for medicine and vaccine exports. In 2017, proprietary medicinal products worth 40.3 billion EUR were exported from our country which accounts for 10.6 percent of total Belgian exports.
“Nearly half (48.9 percent) of these exports are intended for countries outside the European Union,” explains Catherine Rutten, the CEO of pharma.be, the umbrella organisation which represents 130 innovative pharmaceutical companies in Belgium.
“In part, it is thanks to the investments of the logistical partners, such as Brussels Airport Company, that Belgium is a preferred country for pharma exports to overseas countries. Doing so also sees our country play its part in the pursuit of the global health objectives”.
Over the years, the airport devised various products and services specifically geared to serve the pharmaceutical industry. As such, there is now worldwide interest in the Airside Pharma Transporter, as it ensures a measurable constant temperature on the tarmac for the cargo on board.
Commenting on the infrastructure developments, the airport said: “Brussels Airport is investing 100 million euros in the construction of ultramodern logistic buildings of 100,000 m² in the cargo area. Half of this infrastructure will be specifically designed to handle high-quality and temperature-sensitive goods, such as pharmaceutical products.”
Under the aegis of the international cross-industry interest group Pharma.aero, of which Brussels Airport is one of the founding members alongside the airports of Miami and Singapore, two so-called pharma corridors were recently put in place on the major trade routes Brussels - Montevideo and Brussels - Hong Kong. All logistic chain players within the corridor comply with imposed quality requirements to ensure an uninterrupted cold chain.
“The quality parameters for a pharma corridor were established in association with the pharma companies. Brussels Airport is keen to step up the number of pharma corridors even further in times to come to facilitate the global quality carriage of pharmaceutical products from our country,” Feist concludes.
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