march2022 - 26

Perishable Cargo in the Pandemic Age
While some aspects of shipping perishable and pharmaceutical
cargo have changed, much has remained the same thanks to
well established industry standards and practices.
BY WALKER JAROCH
T
he handling of pharma cargo
and perishable goods took on
an increased significance with
the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nearly two years later, the role this
crucial cargo plays has only grown
as the pandemic lingers and supply
chains tighten.
" The supply chain has been subject
to increased attention, reduced capacity
and extreme challenges. This required
increased communication and coordination
among stakeholders, advanced planning,
and is what, for example, made the
COVID-19 vaccination program the most
successful logistical operation of its kind, "
says Ronald Schaefer, senior principal,
IATA Consulting Americas.
The pandemic made it evident how
important it is to have a good quality
management program in place
for the shipping of pharmaceuticals,
Schaefer says.
" Companies with a CEIV Pharma certification
were well-prepared to handle these
sensitive products by ensuring availability
of temperature-controlled facilities and
equipment as well as maximizing the use
or repurposing of existing infrastructure
and minimizing temporary builds. In
addition, availability of staff trained to
26 || Ground Support Worldwide || March 2022
handle time- and temperature-sensitive
vaccines and installing robust monitoring
capabilities ensured that the integrity of
the vaccines was maintained, " he adds.
At the onset of the pandemic, when
there were indications of large-scale
temperature-sensitive vaccines being
moved as air freight, John Dowds, VP
service delivery - EMEAA, Worldwide
Flight Services (WFS), says they initiated
a systemic check of their cold storage and
cargo capabilities.
" We initiated Project Coldstream as a
coordinated evaluation of our capability
for temperature control handling, looking
at where we may need to increase our
capacity and how we would procure contingency
capacity if there were peaks of
vaccine flow, " he says.
As it turned out, most vaccines would
not be as temperature-sensitive as initially
suspected, but WFS was ready for
the task either way.
" It should be remembered that the
pharma industry, airlines and handlers
like WFS already had very resilient
handling and transportation solutions
for pharma shipments long before the
COVID outbreak. Pharma has been an
increasingly important product for our
airline customers in recent years, and
we have invested significantly in training,
processes, equipment and facilities
to support this growth in pharma
volumes and to ensure the capacity to
meet our customers' service requirements, "
Dowds says.
Wilson Kwong, Hactl chief executive,
says when the pandemic hit, Hactl was
already fully skilled, resourced, accredited
and ready for the handling of pharma
and perishables. This meant COVID-19
did not change their working methods or
require any additional preparations.
" The challenges were the more general
industry issues of staff absenteeism
through compliance with quarantine
regulations, governing staff who have
tested positive and their respective
close contacts, which are very strict in
Hong Kong; and the dramatic cutbacks
in scheduled passenger services, which
reduced bellyhold capacity to a fraction of
the normal levels and led to an increase
in scheduled and charter freighter services, "
Kwong says.
Trained for Resilience
As noted by Schaefer and demonstrated
by WFS and Hactl, having a strong
foundation based on the right training,
requirements and technology to handle

march2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of march2022

Editor's Note: EAGLE'S Efforts to Promote Unleaded Avgas
Business Buzz
Industry Expert Column: Break the Ground Damage Code
Support for Air Cargo
Ground Handlers' Green Plans
Perishable Cargo in the Pandemic Age
Autonomous Vehicles Gaining Traction in Ground Support
Goldhofer's Emission-free Towbarless Tractor
Product Hangar
Celebrating 30 Years
march2022 - 1
march2022 - 2
march2022 - 3
march2022 - 4
march2022 - 5
march2022 - Editor's Note: EAGLE'S Efforts to Promote Unleaded Avgas
march2022 - 7
march2022 - Business Buzz
march2022 - 9
march2022 - 10
march2022 - 11
march2022 - 12
march2022 - 13
march2022 - 14
march2022 - 15
march2022 - Industry Expert Column: Break the Ground Damage Code
march2022 - 17
march2022 - Support for Air Cargo
march2022 - 19
march2022 - 20
march2022 - 21
march2022 - 22
march2022 - Ground Handlers' Green Plans
march2022 - 24
march2022 - 25
march2022 - Perishable Cargo in the Pandemic Age
march2022 - 27
march2022 - 28
march2022 - 29
march2022 - Autonomous Vehicles Gaining Traction in Ground Support
march2022 - 31
march2022 - Goldhofer's Emission-free Towbarless Tractor
march2022 - 33
march2022 - Product Hangar
march2022 - 35
march2022 - 36
march2022 - 37
march2022 - 38
march2022 - 39
march2022 - 40
march2022 - 41
march2022 - Celebrating 30 Years
march2022 - 43
march2022 - 44
march2022 - A1
march2022 - A2
march2022 - A3
march2022 - A4
march2022 - A5
march2022 - A6
march2022 - A7
march2022 - A8
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