Updated on 13 February 2014
Singapore: Singapore's air freight handling facility for perishable items, SATS Coolport, is certified as a Center of Excellence in Pharmaceutical Handling by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
SATS set up its pharmaceutical handling center to cater to the high growth in pharmaceutical air freight. In 2013, SATS Coolport handled more than 15,200 tonnes of pharmaceuticals. The IATA certification will give pharmaceutical companies the guarantee of excellence in service and ease in conducting audits on SATS Coolport; and in turn, Singapore's Changi airport will become an even more attractive pharmaceutical air freight hub.
The certification process, which took three months to complete, encompassed some upgrading of the facility including enhancements to Coolport's dedicated pharmaceutical zone for both acceptance and delivery of pharmaceutical shipments. This ensures that the facility adheres to the good distribution practice guidelines for pharmaceutical handling.
IATA also assessed SATS Coolport's procedures and policies for pharmaceutical handling against national and international standards, in particular adherence to the IATA Temperature Control Regulations, and best practices.
Over 80 SATS employees working at the facility are undergoing a specialized training programme for pharmaceutical handling conducted by IATA. Upon passing their examinations at the end of the programme, which can take up to 12 months, the staff will receive a Diploma in Pharmaceutical Handling from IATA. The first batch of trainees is expected to graduate in October this year.