More than one in ten global pharmaceutical shipments are entrusted to Qatar Airways Cargo’s Pharma service each year: a growing product that is now evolving under its Next Generation strategy.
Qatar Airways Cargo today announced the relaunch of its Pharma product in line with its Next Generation and VISION 2027 strategy. The relaunch includes several enhancements that benefit its customers and streamlines the handling of different categories of pharmaceuticals and healthcare products, including animal healthcare items that fall under the umbrella of Pharma.
“In less than a decade, Qatar Airways Cargo has grown to become an acknowledged carrier of choice when it comes to pharmaceutical products,” says Guillaume Halleux, Chief Officer Cargo at Qatar Airways. “Since we first launched our pharma service in 2014, we have invested heavily to bring on board the best industry experts, equipment, and training. We have also proactively involved ourselves in leading industry working groups* to keep a finger on the pulse of this ever-evolving market.”
From the current offering of two sub-categories, the cargo carrier now offers five product sub-categories – Pharma Critical Advanced, Pharma Critical Passive, Pharma Advanced, Pharma Passive and Pharma Care. These new enhanced categories enable Qatar Airways Cargo to offer customers a diverse range of solutions to transport their healthcare shipments and ensure optimal handling of all cool-chain pharma products transported on its flights.
The airline has also introduced a two-tier system for its 90 approved pharma stations to provide more information and transparency to its customers. This enhancement helps in differentiating between the distinct capabilities available at various stations. Tier 1 stations offer both +2°C to +8°C & +15°C to +25°C temperature-controlled storage, while having the ability to service electronic containers and dry-ice containers. Tier 2 stations offer only one of the two categories of temperature-controlled storage, handle certain temperature-controlled containers or have limited storage capacity.
Active container milestone updates have also been introduced to regularly inform customers on the status of their shipments moving within these containers. The updates are sent to pre-configured email addresses inserted in the booking. Important information includes the temperature and battery readings of each unit transporting the shipments. The project has been rolled out to selected locations only and a global roll-out will take place over the course of this year.
The airline also considers animal health a top priority and offers comparable solutions through its Pharma product to transport animal healthcare shipments in a safe and efficient manner, all within the customer’s sub-category of choice.
Miguel Rodríguez, Senior Manager Cargo Products at Qatar Airways, explains “With ‘Next Generation Pharma’ we are working on evolving product offerings to meet new and anticipated industry needs, and focussing on digitalising processes and activities to increase transparency and provide more real time information to customers. Better visibility means greater assurance, and faster information flows lead to a more agile, collaborative supply chain, enabling decisions based on actual, in-the-moment facts.”
“Our endeavour is to offer customers a wide range of options based on their transport requirements. We aim to be a one-stop-shop for our customers, providing every packaging and container uplift solution necessary to match their diverse product portfolio, and complementing this with our flexible network, temperature-controlled facilities and equipment, as well as professional, expert handling,” Miguel Rodríguez concludes.
Last year, Qatar Airways Cargo transported over 84,000 tonnes of medical and healthcare shipments across its global network via Doha and its regional hubs in Europe. IATA CEIV Pharma certification was achieved in December 2020, confirming the airline’s and its ground handling partner QAS Cargo’s industry-standard quality performance and handling.
In the interest of offering customers a wide range of sustainable, high quality transport solutions, Qatar Airways Cargo was one of the first airlines to endorse Envirotainer’s newest generation active Releye® RLP & RAP containers. The airline also worked together with Sonoco ThermoSafe to launch Pegasus ULD®, on its routes before the end of 2022. In addition, diligent efforts have been undertaken to approve dozens of different monitoring devices or data loggers used in the healthcare industry to be uplifted on the Qatar Airways fleet, with more to follow.
*Qatar Airways Cargo is an active member of the IATA Live Animals and Perishables Board, Pharma.Aero, the Cool Chain Association, and Validaide.