A walk-through of Etihad Cargo’s new state-of-the-art cool chain facility at Abu Dhabi

Etihad Cargo has joined hands with Etihad Airport Services Cargo and Abu Dhabi Airports to launch an expanded, state-of-the-art, dedicated cool chain facility.

Soon to be operational, the facility will double the carrier’s cool chain storage and handling capacity, benefiting both Etihad Cargo’s customers and the patients who are treated with the life-saving medicines transported globally.

This upcoming facility will be another step in helping Etihad Cargo enhance its PharmaLife product and builds upon the ground-breaking international agreements Etihad Cargo has entered into, supporting Abu Dhabi’s vision of becoming a global life-science and pharmaceutical hub.

The new pharmaceutical cool chain hub at Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) will significantly enhance Etihad Cargo’s infrastructure and systems, consolidating the carrier’s position as the premier world-class carrier of pharmaceuticals in the region. A collaboration between Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Aviation Group, Etihad Airport Services Cargo, and Abu Dhabi Airports, the facility will progress Etihad Cargo and Abu Dhabi’s shared vision of collaborating internationally to advance life sciences.

Spread across a 3,000 sq meter hub, the facility with increased storage space and upgraded cool chain will be used for Etihad Cargo’s International Air Transport Association (IATA) Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Pharma-certified PharmaLife handling and storage operations.

Incorporated with the latest technology and efficiency features, the new facility has build-up and breakdown zones for improved production workflows, bulk loading docks with levelers, high-speed roll-up shutters, insulation, and a real-time temperature monitoring system that will enable faster and more efficient loading with stricter temperature controls. The facility will also feature new x-ray screening within the precision temperature-controlled environment.

The upcoming facility is in line with IATA’s CEIV Pharma standards and demonstrates Etihad Cargo’s full compliance with specific pharmaceutical regulations, including IATA Temperature Control Regulations (TCR), Good Distribution Practices (GDP), and a quality system for warehouses and distribution centers dedicated to medications and life sciences products.

In 2019, Etihad Cargo achieved IATA CEIV Pharma certification in conjunction with its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport and Etihad Airport Services Cargo. In 2022, the carrier has gone on to achieve IATA CEIV Pharma recertification for pharmaceutical and life science logistics following an exhaustive external audit.

“Etihad Cargo continues to recognize and value partnerships, such as the one between Etihad Cargo, Etihad Airport Services, and Abu Dhabi Airports. and their power to imagine and deliver such world-class facilities. Through these partnerships, Etihad Cargo brings world-best practice and a multitude of opportunities to the region.”

~ Fabrice Panza, Manager of Global Cool Chain Solutions at Etihad Cargo

“Exponential growth in life sciences across research, development, and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology-based medicines requiring lower temperatures and the development of precision individually tailored medical treatments significantly shifts the demands placed on pharmaceutical supply chains now and into the future. Etihad Cargo’s new facility and the anticipated further expansion of the Abu Dhabi International Airport hub positions the carrier to meet future demands,” Fabrice concluded.

By expanding the carrier’s pharma handling capabilities and organizational efforts to retain its status as an IATA CEIV Pharma-certified pharmaceuticals handler, Etihad Cargo demonstrates an ongoing commitment to world-leading practices to manage and mitigate the risks that sensitive pharmaceuticals are exposed to when transported by air.

As a member of the network of only 37 CEIV Pharma-certified organizations globally, Etihad Cargo launched Pharma Corridor 2.0 in collaboration with the HOPE Consortium, Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), Brussels Airport Company, and Pharma. Aero. The Corridor forms a comprehensive quality assurance system of enhanced connectivity and transparency, real-time monitoring, and data sharing. Stakeholders and customers recognize that organizations awarded CEIV Pharma certification offer world-leading, best-practice service quality in pharmaceutical transport.

Etihad Cargo, in the twelve months before the scheduled opening of the new facility, had transported over 50,000 tonnes of cool chain products, including pharmaceutical and healthcare products, across its network, which reaches throughout the Middle East, into Africa, Asia, Europe, and the US. Etihad Cargo’s expanded pharma hub will double the carrier’s cool chain handling and storage capabilities, and the tonnage transported in twelve months is anticipated to increase significantly in the years to come, ensuring future customer demand can be met.

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