Airfreight ground handler LuxairCARGO celebrates GDP status

LUXEMBOURG appears to be maintaining its status as the air cargo industry’s standardbearer for the air transportation of pharmaceuticals, following the Good Distribution Practice (GDP)-certification of LuxairCARGO (LC) operations.
According to a statement, LC is the first European freight ground-handling agent to be awarded GDP status by Bureau Veritas Certification, Germany.
The news comes almost year after the inauguration of the company’s €multi-million, 3,000-sq m pharma and healthcare hub, based at Luxembourg Findel Airport’s cargo centre.
The opening marked the establishment the world’s first GDP-certified supply chain with air carriers, forwarders and road hauliers all under one roof. 
The airfreight gateway appears to be bearing fruit with almost 21,000 tonnes of pharmaceutical products handled at the hub in 2013.
“With its GDP certification, LuxairCARGO is now expecting a volume of 30,000 tonnes in 2014,” a spokesperson reveals. 
GDP certification, which has now been awarded to cargo airline Cargolux, is a quality system dedicated to the handling of healthcare and pharmaceuticals products, from the delivery of raw materials to the manufacturing plants, to the final shipment to the end user.
Internationally accepted pharmaceutical GDP regulations demand that companies handling and transporting pharmaceuticals products align their operations with the defined standards.
Notably, a crucial factor in Luxembourg’s success in the pharma and healthcare sector is the fact that its logistics sector is strongly supported by the government, which has invested heavily in infrastructure. 
Daniel Liebermann, director, directorate logistics at Luxembourg’s Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade, is quick to point out the interdependent relationship between the private and public sector. 
Speaking at the 13th annual Cool Chain and Controlled Room Temperature Logistics Europe event, he explained: “Before this initiative was launched two years ago, pharma flows were already passing through Luxembourg. However there was also a need for all the logistics players to go through the GDP certification process in order to offer product integrity.
“Our biggest challenge was our [self-imposed] time constraints – we wanted to move fast, so we gave ourselves 12 months to implement this hub gateway strategy integrating all the logistics parties. This was a big challenge for everyone involved – the ministry and specifically the companies. I have to congratulate them all for taking up the challenge and succeeding.”
Echoing his comments, Laurent Jossart, the new executive-vice president for LuxairCargo, adds: “We are a one-stop shop – we do everything. By managing the entire process from arrival until departure of the shipments, we can better monitor the quality than other handlers or other airports, which is as important as the GDP certification."
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