Monday, September 30, 2013

Shipping of Pharmaceuticals now Requires Improved Logistics and Rigorous Cold Chain Management

Freight Forwarder Presses on with Certification Processes
Shipping News Feature

FRANCE – LUXEMBOURG – EUROPE – With new EU guidance on the traffic, Bolloré Logistics subsidiary company SDV, is pressing ahead with its programme for formal recognition of its quality control systems which the company has in place to meet the rigorous cold chain management requirements necessary for undertaking the shipping of pharmaceuticals, a sector of the industry which the company has focused on since 2005, when it first launched its programme to harmonise its processes with Good Distribution Practice (GDP) guidelines.

In 2007, Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, SDV Healthcare's largest European platform, received Certipharm certification, the French certification system for good manufacturing practices, compliance and quality assurance when carrying pharmaceuticals. In March of this year the official journal of the EU published revised European GDP guidelines, which came into force this month, containing new provisions, not only to combat counterfeit and falsification, but also to tighten controls on outsourced transport and logistics activities.

These included service-level agreements with suppliers, mapping of cold rooms and transport vehicles under temperature control, emergency planning to deal with technical problems during transport, appropriate precautions to deal with transhipments and temporary storage. These revised guidelines coincided with SDV Healthcare's acceleration of its quality programme in Europe to integrate its supply chain for the product across the continent.

Now SDV is to concentrate its latest efforts on its Luxembourg-Findel airport operation, a hub of air freight activity, with 30,000 tonnes of pharmaceutical products processed in 2012. Last April, SDV's main partner, Luxair Cargo, opened a 3000 m² temperature controlled store at the airport where certification by Bureau Veritas is scheduled to take place in October 2013.

The programme is set to continue to ensure improved, consistent services and after Luxembourg, Lisbon, CDG Roissy, Frankfurt, and other airports are earmarked for certification in 2014, while a parallel plan covering Zurich, London, Brussels and Amsterdam will be launched for QEP (Qualified Envirotainer Provider) accreditation certifying that SDV's employees have received training in the use of Envirotainer containers.