Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), the world’s largest air cargo handler, is investing €10 million in a new Pharma Centre to expand its range of services for airline and freight forwarder customers at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. This investment also includes equipment and supplies for the next 10 years. Opening in September 2019, it will be the only facility owned by a ground handler dedicated to pharmaceuticals at Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG).
This latest investment follows the opening of WFS pharma facilities in Copenhagen, Johannesburg and Miami.
The Pharma Centre offers both landside and airside acceptance capabilities and will be fully GDP compliant when it opens. It will also become IATA CEIV Pharma certified, as part of an initiative launched by Group ADP within the cargo community at Paris-CDG Airport, to fully support WFS’ dedicated temperature-controlled service to maintain strict control of the distribution chain, therefore protecting the quality and integrity of healthcare and life science products. With the CEIV Pharma certification, WFS will have a strategic advantage in the air cargo handling market with a stronger, more competitive and enhanced service.
The 2,400 mÇ dedicated space, located in the heart of CDG airport’s cargo area, has its own docks and manoeuvring area for the loading and unloading of temperature-controlled pharmaceutical shipments. The facility provides:
• A dedicated room for loose cargo storage at +15-+25ÆC with a capacity for 108 euro-pallets on four levels of racking.
• A dedicated cold room for loose cargo storage at +2-+8ÆC with the capacity to store 47 euro-pallets on the ground, and with additional racking also available.
• A small freezing room for loose cargo storage at -20ÆC capable of handling 9 euro-pallets at a time.
• Two temperature-controlled areas for +2 to +25ÆC for cargo unit load devices with a combined capacity to store 53 P2P or 106 AKE pallets.
WFS is also investing in new digital technology systems to improve operational efficiency and shipment visibility. A new warehouse management system (WMS) supports the use of barcode scanning for real-time storage capacity monitoring and management.
This will ensure constant tracking of shipments from the Pharma Centre to and from aircraft with time and date statements available on demand. A temperature monitoring solution with a Cloud platform will collect temperature and humidity data in real-time via sensors and enable this information to be accessed on mobile devices.
Designed with flexibility to adjust capacity on demand, the WFS Pharma Centre is served by exclusively designed temperature-controlled three-pallet trailers and cool dollies as part of WFS’ end-to-end airport handling solution and works in accordance with the strict temperature requirements for specific pharmaceutical product groups.
As part of WFS’ global safety and security programme, the controlled-access Pharma Centre is also equipped with modern screening, CCTV control and alarm systems, monitored 24/7 by its Security Operational Centre. The facility also reflects the company’s environmental commitment with its investment in an all-electric fleet of forklifts and pallet trucks as well as a robust plastic and wood waste recycling programme.
The WFS Pharma Centre will adopt a Quality Management System with specific processes for temperature-controlled cargoes. Performance will be measured against pre-set Key Performance Indicators during management reviews and internal audits.
The WFS Pharma Centre will be operated by a dedicated team of highly trained pharmaceutical handling specialists, who are IATA CEIV trained and possess a solid knowledge of time and temperature-sensitive healthcare and pharmaceutical products transportation according to IATA’s Temperature Control Regulations. They will also receive additional training at WFS’ award-winning WFS Academy, recognised by IATA as one of the world’s top 10 aviation training providers. Employees working in the building will offer expertise on product temperature ranges, packaging technology, key risk factors and critical control points.
Hugo Rodrigues, Vice President Cargo France at WFS, commented: “Pharmaceuticals continue to be one of the fastest-growing air cargo products and our airline customers have responded to this opportunity with dedicated products and services to meet this demand. WFS also has a vital role to play in helping our customers deliver the quality of service they have promised and in ensuring we consistently perform to the high standards required for sensitive, temperature-controlled cargoes to protect their integrity throughout the cool chain. At a major air cargo gateway like Paris CDG, we believe it is incumbent on ground handlers to invest in the right equipment to handle pharma products. Once again, this demonstrates WFS’ willingness to invest in new, state-of-the-art facilities when we see opportunities to benefit our customers and our own business.”