Emirates SkyCargo launches new pharma services

Emirates SkyCargo, the airfreight division of Dubai-based carrier Emirates, has launched two new bespoke services for the global healthcare industry.

Emirates Vital and Emirates Medical Devices will be available under the freight carrier’s rebranded Life Sciences and Healthcare product range, which also encompasses its pre-existing pharmaceutical transport offerings.

Emirates Vital and Emirates Medical Devices, both of which are said to have been developed in consultation with customers to ensure that they are fit for purpose today but are also future-ready, are to be rolled out by the Emirates SkyCargo team working closely with specialist freight forwarders around the world.

Nabil Sultan, divisional senior vice president at Emirates SkyCargo, remarked: “Our pharma business is already a market leader, and each week we move around 2 million kilogrammes of pharmaceutical cargo across the globe.

“Since 2015, we’ve invested over $200m to build our capabilities and now we have very strong expertise and insights into the pharma and broader life sciences space.”

He continued: “By listening to our customers, we saw an opportunity to support the global health industry’s advances in personalised patient treatments and meet the growing need for priority services in air cargo logistics to move sensitive materials and equipment – for instance those used in the research of sophisticated therapies like gene editing and cell therapy.

“We are on a mission to help the world work better – not only for our customers, but also for their end customers – individual patients.

“By expanding our product range and ensuring these solutions are purpose-built and future-fit, we aim to ship more vital treatments and supplies to benefit more lives around the world,” Sultan informed.

Emirates Vital will be available for the shipment of cargo for clinical trials, human organs and tissues, cell and gene therapy.

It will be a ‘white glove’ service, with an Emirates control tower team monitoring every shipment.

Shipment connections through Dubai will involve transit times of less than four hours, with Emirates utilising the bulk hold of aircraft as well as dedicated vans operating across the airport ramp to move the pharma cargo to connecting flights.

Emirates Medical Devices is intended to support the movement of equipment for the diagnosis, prevention, treatment and monitoring of diseases.

The service will transport equipment such as ventilators, test kits, X-ray machines and magnetic resonance imaging scanners (MRIs), ensuring that all cargo moved follows the developing Medical Device Regulations and is Good Distribution Practice (GDP) compliant.

SkyCargo’s other services available for the shipment of pharmaceuticals are:

  • Emirates Pharma is intended for less temperature-sensitive items or shipments that already come with advanced passive packaging. Emirates Pharma is a door-to-door service
  • Emirates Pharma Plus combines both the Emirates Pharma offering and Emirates’ fleet of cool dollies on the ramp in Dubai to mitigate the risk of temperature fluctuations at the airport
  • Emirates Pharma Active offers the highest category of protection and control. It uses active cooling containers from six specialist suppliers for the transport of extremely sensitive pharma products like insulin, vaccines and oncology drugs

Protection all along the supply chain

Emirates SkyCargo can carry pharma products in the bellyhold cargo capacity of its fleet of widebody aircraft as well as within the main hold of its 11 dedicated Boeing 777 freighters.

It operates two state-of-the-art cargo terminals at its hub in Dubai, offering transit times of as little as three hours air-to-air. The terminals offer a total cargo capacity of around a million tonnes per year and there is 15,000 sq m of dedicated storage space for temperature-sensitive goods such as perishables and pharmaceuticals.

SkyCargo also boasts nine maindeck cool dollies, 41 lower deck cool dollies and 12 refrigerated trucks.

Emirates Vital and Emirates Medical Devices are intended by the carrier only to be the first of more developments to follow in Emirates SkyCargo’s ambition to “lead the market in delivering specialist solutions that are fast, reliable, flexible, and efficient”.

“The global supply chain is evolving rapidly,” Sultan notes.

“There’s increased expectation around lead times and sourcing that makes air cargo uniquely placed as the fastest and safest logistics mode.

“Emirates SkyCargo is ready for the new world of logistics and we’ll continue to build on our capabilities to deliver ever better solutions to our customers.”

Its ability to carry pharma shipments – and other types of shipment – is being improved by further additions to its aircraft fleet.

Earlier this month, Emirates SkyCargo confirmed that it had added two 747-400Fs to its freighter fleet and said that it expected to double its existing capacity over the next decade.

It is expecting 15 more freighters to join its fleet from already announced orders and its freighter conversion programme, plus see a boost in bellyhold capacity from new passenger aircraft deliveries starting with Airbus A350s in late summer 2024, followed by 777-Xs the year after.

Over the next decade, Emirates SkyCargo expects to add over 20 new destinations to its freighter network, and offer more flexibility and services to its customers with a fleet mix of over 300 widebody aircraft comprising 777s, 777-Fs, 747-Fs, A350s, and A380s.

Currently, Emirates offers cargo capacity to over 150 destinations across six continents.

And in news from air cargo Europe being held in Munich, Germany, this week, Emirates SkyCargo has launched a brand-new creative advertising campaign as part of a wider product refresh.

The advertising campaign showcases how ‘The World Works Better with Emirates SkyCargo’.

Through every-day scenarios, the advert demonstrates how essential its logistics business is to connect people and products all around the world, whether that is through moving life-saving healthcare, fresh fruit, flowers, pets or valuables.

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