DHL and United expand services into pharma hub San Juan

United Airlines and DHL Global Forwarding (DGF) have announced growth and expansion initiatives to serve San Juan, the burgeoning life sciences and pharmaceuticals hub in Puerto Rico.
The two companies are working together to increase the number of widebody flights serving San Juan and to offer expanded cold chain storage solutions for temperature-controlled chambers operating at 15 to 25° C (59 to 77° F).
United, partly to serve increased demand for temperature-controlled shipments, will from mid-December increase its current one Boeing 777 flight per week to six between San Juan’s Luis Munoz Marin airport and the airline’s New York/Newark hub.
The DHL facility expansion will take place by dividing its current 5,616 sq ft warehouse in San Juan into three independently operated cold chambers with a combined capacity of 324 pallets.
Each of the three chambers will have 100% redundant refrigeration systems and also have a hot gas injection system to maintain required relative humidity levels during operation.
Frank Cascante, head of sales & marketing for DHL temperature management solutions at DGF, said: “Pharmaceutical companies have increasingly invested in Puerto Rico over the years, and they need a strong global network and cold chain infrastructure to handle their delicate medicines and pharmaceutical products.”
According to the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co (PRIDCO), the island has 49 US Food and Drug Administration FDA-approved pharmaceutical plants, while twelve of the top 20 global pharmaceutical companies have a presence there.
It also is the fifth largest pharmaceutical manufacturing territory in the world and has recently attracted extra cargo services from Cargolux, CAL, American Airlines and IAG.
“Building strong, collaborative relationships with United Cargo customers allows us to share innovative ideas and opportunities to ensure we meet the needs of the global health care community,” said Jim Bellinder, United Cargo’s vice president of sales Americas. 
The Air Cargo News Life Sciences and Pharmaceuticals Air Cargo Conference will take place in London this year at the Hilton London Heathrow Airport at Terminal 4 on November 22 and 23.

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