Health LogisticsEtihad Cargo witnessed a 37 percent increase in pharmaceutical and life sciences...

Etihad Cargo witnessed a 37 percent increase in pharmaceutical and life sciences shipments in 2023

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Abu Dhabi, UAE- February 2024- Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Airways, achieved year-on-year growth of the carrier’s dedicated cool chain products — PharmaLife and FreshForward — in 2023. The airline recorded the highest volumes of pharmaceuticals transported in Etihad Cargo’s history, achieving a 37 per cent increase in shipments compared to 2022. The carrier also transported 10 per cent more fresh and perishable shipments, making 2023 the third consecutive year Etihad Cargo has achieved growth for both products despite challenging market conditions. This milestone achievement reflects Etihad Cargo’s unwavering commitment to excellence in pharmaceutical and perishables logistics, reinforcing its position as a leading global air cargo operator.

Etihad Cargo has continuously invested in and added features to its cool chain product range, including PharmaLife for the shipment of pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and life sciences commodities and FreshForward for the shipment of perishable fresh produce, including fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat and flowers. The carrier holds IATA’s Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) certification in Pharmaceutical and Fresh logistics. A consistent commitment to safety and quality has enabled Etihad Cargo to achieve a 99.1 per cent compliance rate for pharmaceutical shipments in addition to growing cool chain volumes for the last three years.

Pharma Hub

Contributing to the increase in cool chain volumes transported by Etihad Cargo in 2023 was the opening of the carrier’s dedicated pharma hub, which has doubled its cool chain storage and handling capacity. The 3,300 square-meter facility comprises the latest technology and features, including RFS loading docks with levellers, insulation and floor work for faster and more efficient loading with stricter temperature controls, increased storage space, additional build-up and breakdown zones for improved production workflows and upgraded cool chain facilities for our pharma handling and storage operations. Since launching the new pharmaceutical centre in July 2023, Etihad Cargo immediately achieved an increase in pharmaceutical volumes, recording a 39 per cent increase in July, a 40 per cent increase in August and a 41 per cent increase in September.

Etihad Cargo has also refurbished its perishables handling and storage facility. The carrier operates a 3,000-square-metre dedicated perishables temperature-controlled warehouse, providing smoother transfers to Etihad Cargo’s FreshForward truck fleet, making the end-to-end journey of perishables easier and safer.

Leonard Rodrigues, Acting Managing Director at Etihad Cargo, said: “Etihad Cargo is fully aligned with Abu Dhabi’s vision of becoming a global logistics, pharmaceuticals and perishables hub. The carrier’s commitment to quality combined with continuous product and infrastructure enhancements has enabled Etihad Cargo to achieve significant growth and contribute to the creation of a more resilient and robust global cool chain.”

Expanding beyond the carrier’s Abu Dhabi hub, Etihad Cargo’s PharmaLife network covers over 62 destinations. To strengthen connections between Abu Dhabi and the rest of the world, Etihad Cargo has developed over 1,330 IATA CEIV Pharma/ Good Distribution Practice (GDP)-certified trade lanes, ensuring product integrity. Etihad Cargo is actively collaborating with key airline partners to establish further IATA CEIV-certified pharma trade lanes to broaden the carrier’s network through dedicated PharmaLife agreements.

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