Singapore handler sets up ‘cool school’ for pharma

Singapore handling company SATS has launched an initiative to deepen its cold chain talent pool and “transform cargo acceptance” at Changi airport.
A SATS Coolport Academy will serve as an independent training institute, offering IATA certified and other related courses to raise the standards of cold-chain handling in the surrounding region.
SATS says it will be the first ground handling agent in Asia to offer specialised training in pharma handling. IATA has appointed SATS’ perishable handling centre – SATS Coolport – as its regional training partner in pharmaceutical handling and it will be the first in Asia to offer IATA-certified cold-chain related courses.
Following SATS Coolport’s November 2014 certification as the world’s first Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators in pharmaceutical handling by IATA, the Coolport Academy will also offer related training programmes to SATS joint venture companies across Asia.
The academy will have links with local institutes of higher education to accelerate skills development and help attract more youngsters to the industry.
SATS president and chief executive, Alex Hungate, explained: "SATS is launching these initiatives in order to capitalise on the three billion people joining Asia’s middle classes over the next 15 years. (Their) purchasing power will result in growing e-commerce; demand for safe, high quality food; and increased sales of pharmaceuticals. Air cargo in Asia will benefit from all three of these trends.”
But in order to win this new air cargo business, SATS needed to invest in training its people “to the highest levels in Asia, improving our processes by introducing electronic processing to eliminate paper and enhance productivity; and collaborating with our partners in the Singapore aviation community: CAAS, CAG, IATA, SAAA@Singapore and other industry stakeholders to accelerate the rate of adoption of these initiatives across the industry.”
IATA’s regional vice president for Asia-Pacific, Conrad Clifford, added: “The shipping of pharmaceutical products is one of the most promising areas in the airfreight industry. This $60bn market is helping to compensate for the decline in other goods that had previously been shipped by air.
“Having SATS Coolport Academy established as an IATA Regional Training Partner in pharmaceutical handling will ensure that there will be sufficient talent in Singapore and the region to support the growth of this segment in the air cargo industry, and ensure the reliable transportation of temperature sensitive pharmaceutical products.”

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