American Airlines Cargo has signed with The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) to obtain certification for the handling of pharmaceuticals and healthcare products targeted at supply chain participants.
American obtains this certification in an effort to promote the hard work and investments made over the past few years to enhance and evolve its cold-chain programme.
Initial stations will include American’s home base and key hub Dallas-Fort Worth International (DFW), and Miami International (MIA). As the largest airline at MIA, American’s certification will back the MIA Airport Pharma Hub initiative. American will also certify Philadelphia International (PHL) in support of its dedicated, 25,000 square-foot pharmaceutical and healthcare handling facility that opened in 2015.
The IATA certification, known as the Centre for Excellence and Independent Validators (CEIV), impartially validates the capabilities associated with the proper transportation of delicate, temperature-controlled pharmaceutical shipments. In addition to the facilitation of critical training for warehouse handling staff on regulations and best practices, the certification includes the assessment and verification of properly-equipped facilities, processes and operational effectiveness for the correct handling of these sensitive products—all efforts American has focused heavily on over the recent years.
“We’re extremely proud of our temperature-control network,” said Tom Grubb, American’s manager of cold chain strategy for its cargo division. “Our focus is on moving pharmaceuticals safely and efficiently across the globe, and being the first US carrier to promote this certification will help show our partners and customers how confident we are in our abilities to offer the best cold-chain service possible.”
ExpediteTC, American’s premium temperature-control program, was developed for the best-in-class handling and shipping of pharmaceutical and healthcare commodities—such as vaccines, gene therapies and blood products—throughout the supply chain. Given the delicate nature of these products and the need to ensure the safe and effective transport for the end patient, American will invest in CEIV across its global network, starting with key hubs, to validate its high-end, cold-chain offering.
The certification will help promote the investments American has made toward facility, technology and process enhancements, ensuring the highest quality compliance, training and handling possible across its global cold-chain network, which reaches 157 cities in 45 countries around the globe.
The demand for temperature management services continues to grow at a rapid pace due to market growth, necessary product requirements and stringent global regulations. With the increase in regulatory oversight of pharmaceutical logistics comes the industrywide need to ensure quality handing from all stakeholders. This aligns with American’s primary objective of an increasingly enhanced experience for customers.
American and its cold chain customers will greatly benefit from these validation efforts. Growth in this sector of the air cargo industry is crucial to the transportation of critical medicines and treatments, with which demand continues to expand worldwide.