Updated on 5 October 2016
Emirates SkyPharma facility for handling pharma products at Dubai International airport
Dubai: Pharma cold chain logistics market is estimated to be USD12.6 billion in 2016. Emirates SkyCargo is Dubai's most recognized cargo operator that shipped close to 11,000 tonnes of pharmaceutical products across its global network through its hub in Dubai in 2015. The logistic provider shipped critical medication for diabetes and cancer, active pharmaceutical ingredients, blood derivatives and vaccines. Recently the company launched SkyPharma, a purpose built facility dedicated exclusively to the timely and secure transport of temperature sensitive pharmaceutical products including biologics and vaccines. The investment indicates Dubai's strategy to enhance its stake in pharma logistics.
Dubai's plan to strengthen the infrastructure needed for complied logistics of biotech products can be of advantage to pharmaceutical companies operating in different part of the world. However, shipment of pharmaceutical products carries wide spectrum of challenges at different levels and till now shipper, forwarder and pharmaceutical companies operate in a disintegrated manner and are not in sync to address the challenges.
In a recently concluded cool chain conference in Dubai organized by Cool Chain Association, representatives from pharma and cargo companies opined that there is a need to develop transparency between logistic service provider, customs, airline, handling agent, freight forwarder and shipper. All the stakeholders who eventually execute the shipment process need to have collective trust in aircargo supply. Technology has evolved but the willingness to address the challenges in supply and logistics management by different parties involved is still lacking.
Mr Bert Allard Jorritsma, Manager Special Cargo and Service Delivery, Emirates shared his thought that there needs to be more dialogue between pharma industry and logistic provider in order to build a fully integrated supply chain system.
"If there is more communication between pharmaceutical companies it will help us understand their objective behind choosing a certain supply chain service provider. We would like to know more about their requirements so that it can be integrated in packaging, handling and everything that counts in pharma industry," he said.