Panalpina: A pharma star is born

Panalpina is expanding its own-controlled air freight network by launching a weekly B747-400F connection from San Juan to Europe, aimed at pharmaceutical shippers.
The Switzerland-based logistics giant says that the Puerto Rico-originating freighter will fly directly into Luxembourg, in close collaboration with European all-cargo operator Cargolux.
The service, called Caribbean Star, uses an existing scheduled commercial flight by Cargolux. Before crossing the Atlantic, the freighter flies from Quito, Ecuador, to Bogota, Colombia, and then directly to San Juan, where Panalpina loads its cargo. From Luxembourg, Panalpina’s road feeder service (RFS) completes the final destination delivery in Europe.
Says Panalpina: “The weekly service marks the first regular call of a full freighter aircraft at San Juan International Airport. It gives healthcare customers in the area guaranteed uplift for their cargo on a B747-400F and the best possible control of their temperature-sensitive goods both on the ground and in the air.”
Most of the world’s healthcare giants operate production plants in and around San Juan, says Panalpina, adding: “Freighters are their preferred choice for moving pharmaceuticals, because with cargo-only flights it is easier to control the temperature of the valuable goods and bigger lots can be moved as a single shipment.”
Says Matthias Frey, global head of Panalpina’s own controlled air freight network: “So far, companies exporting goods from Puerto Rico could use passenger aircraft only out of San Juan or freighters out of Aguadilla, 80 miles (130 km) away.
“Now our healthcare customers can put their temperature-sensitive goods on a cargo-only aircraft right on their doorstep. Not only do we cut out an 80 mile road leg of the journey, we also ensure the best possible control on the ground and in the air from door-to-door,”
Panalpina operates a 37,500 sq ft facility in San Juan, only two miles from the airport, fully equipped to handle a variety of cargo, from high-value, to hazardous and temperature-sensitive goods. 
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