When it comes to the shipment of pharmaceuticals, the role of the air-freight carrier goes way beyond transportation and, as such, must be viewed in the context of developing a proper logistic-concept in synergy with all the parties involved.

It is common knowledge that transportation is the weakest link in the supply chain of pharmaceutical and biotech products, and that constant and accurate temperature control is a crucial factor when it comes to avoiding any negative impact on the final quality. Although damage can occur at each point along the supply chain, statistics confirm that most of it results from breakdowns in the cool chain and/or from poor handling. That is why the role of the air-freight carrier is an important one.

Reliance on sophisticated technology such as state-ofthe- art containers and employing well-trained, reliable staff are two vital preconditions for the airfreight company to perform effective and compliant transportation of temperature sensitive products. Nevertheless, the cool chain is not just about transportation; it also relies on the right combination of activities such as packaging, cooling procedures, handling processes, in addition to land and air freight services.

Such combinations can only be effective when seamless coordination with all parties involved is in place. Synergical partnerships can be ranked as a major element in cool chain management best practice. More extensively, it is the logistic concept behind the actual logistic operations that, along with constant and accurate coordination and supervision, makes the shipment of temperature sensitive products successful.

In this respect Swiss WorldCargo, the cargo division of Swiss International Air Lines, has been investing heavily in partners selection worldwide, including forwarders, ground handling agents, trucking companies and suppliers of temperature controlled containers. For example, Swiss °Celsius, the special product for temperature-controlled shipments, is the result of extensive research and group work with key players from the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, as well as with Envirotainer, the leading manufacturer of temperature controlled ULDs.

For some pharmaceutical and biotech products, temperature-controlled containers are not the only transportation solution. Every day more companies are providing their own packaging solutions, such as thermo blankets, foam-filled boxes or polyurethane containers, according to product needs.

To meet the requirements of such niche products within the pharmaceutical industry, Swiss WorldCargo offers added-value services. As well as the Swiss °Celsius active containerised solution, customers can also benefit from the efficient transport and handling processes of the products Swiss X-Presso and General Cargo, which seamlessly integrate with the customer’s cool chain.