Pharma Focus Asia
KP - Sustainable Packaging Solutions

Pharmaceuticals are in Good Hands with Turkish Cargo

Seref Kazanci, Senior Vice President, Turkish Cargo, Istanbul

As Turkish Cargo we have been awarded with IATA’s ‘Center of Excellence for Independent Validators’ (CEIV) in Pharmaceutical Logistics at our Istanbul hub. With this strength, we aim to offer our customers the most reliable means of transport. As an air freighter; speed of delivery, wide network and safety are some aspects of our efficiency. When it comes to handling in the air cargo sector, there are strict rules that have to be followed.

IATA CEIV Pharma certification is recognised as one of the most important indicators of our process for pharmaceuticals shipments. The successful completion of IATA’s CEIV pharma certification process by an airline company reinforces the airline’s commitment to meeting the high standards set by the pharmaceutical industry and the legislators globally in the transportation of delicate, extreme temperature and time-critical consignments such as vaccines, biotechnological products, diagnostic samples, precision healthcare devices, organs and tissues. We have successfully completed the IATA CEIV Pharma Certification. We revised each step of the process in order to ensure high level of reliability and security throughout shipment. By being certified by IATA CEIV Pharma, Istanbul Cargo Hub is fully complied with all applicable pharmaceutical standarts in order to increase transportation of pharmaceutical products by air. Owing to our IATA CEIV Pharma Certified that support this strategy, we expect more than 40% increase at the end of the 2017 in pharmaceutical transportation.

Geographically, Turkish Cargo hub at Istanbul Ataturk Airport, is located in a very strategic location. The natural hub status of Istanbul enables us to provide rapid connection between the pharmaceuticals producers and consumers in Asia. As Turkish Airlines, we have freighter services to many countries and moreover, every month, we are opening a new passenger routes. Besides, when we analyze the growth in the cargo types, pharma shipments have the highest growth rate, as twice as general cargo.  To fill our increasing capacity, we have to get share from the growth in the pharma shipments. Turkish Cargo carries out our cargo operations in line with special schedules established for cool chain logistics and ensures the punctual transport of these supplies, sent via passenger or cargo aircrafts to over 100 countries around the world. Our biggest difference on cargo business is our network that enables our customers to send their pharmaceuticals shipments to more than 100 countries.

Pharmaceutical industry is a fast-growing business in the global market. We are aware of the huge potential in the pharmaceutical market that continues to grow day by day. We made highly promising investments to improve pharmaceuticals shipping services. As Turkish Cargo, we redefined SOP for the pharmaceuticals. We have inaugurated a new 3.000 m2 special cargo storage area and now 42 separate special cargo rooms which have high quality standards, including temperature-controlled storage units designated for drug, vaccine and healthcare shipments. All of our temperature-controlled storage units are monitored for temperature and humidity levels via an online tracking system.

Pharmaceuticals are stored safely in storage units which suited for the type of cargo and are stored under the temperature range requested by the sender. Pharmaceuticals and healthcare cargoes containing medicines in our temperature controlled storage units are then transported from storage and enplaned before take-off.

Turkish Cargo’s pharmaceutical logistics are prepared specifically in order to protect the contents and prevent them from deterioration. All medical pharmaceutical and healthcare products requests made to Turkish Airlines verbally or on paper, are handled by our offices, agencies abroad and Cargo Reservation Department. In the acceptance stage, cargoes are examined and categorised by our Cargo & Document Acceptance Unit, according to their destinations, types, weight, amount and size. At the acceptance stage, all transportation of pharmaceutical and healthcare products are executed in accordance with the IATA Acceptance Checklist. At the reservation stage, the shipments are assessed for safety, portability and packaging in accordance with aircraft type, country regulations, , international regulations, IATA regulations and IATA Airport Handling Handbook. Later, the cargo that passes these assessments are accepted through special delivery doors dedicated to medical supply shipments and located close to X-ray scanners.

The preparations of flights departing from Turkey are performed on the basis of Preparation Manifest obtained from Cargo Operation System including the cargoes of relevant flight. Pharmaceutical shipments must be displayed with codes on the manifest. For preparation at international stations, location of pharmaceuticals shipments specified in the manifest is determined and after shipments are received from the relevant locations, they are included in Bulk loading or ULD loading. If requested by consignor, temperature  of  temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals are preserved and they are protected from outside temperature fluctuations in line with Instruction on the Use of Thermal Blankets. Moreover,  with our partnership with active temperature controlled container providers we are able to prevent our cargoes from being exposed to often changing temperatures during flights. Working together with active temperature controlled container Envirotainer and by using their solution, constant and required temperature throughout the entire cold chain is maintained, even to long-distance destinations. Thanks to the agreements we made with international container suppliers, we can provide shipments between -20°C and +25°C at the requested conditions and capacity. With our data entry log, we also report to our customers about the changes in temperature of their shipments during the whole transportation process. Envirotainer active container demands of our customers are assessed by our expert teams in our Special Cargo Directorate. On request, our containers are installed with a temperature setting by our certified experts and delivered to our clients ready to be loaded to the plane. After the acceptance of the container, it is carried into the active container storage area at our facility. The temperature and battery charge is monitored in designated periods according to instructions given in Container Regulations. The temperature and battery charge of the container is constantly monitored until its delivery to the recipient. To this end, we’ll continue to carry out related training and certification programs to equip our employees and business partners with the knowledge and competence on this project.

Turkish Cargo built local pharma handling expertise and a pharma mindset training the employees on pharmaceutical handling. All Turkish Cargo staff that are involved in the transporting of cargoes, participate in international and in-house training and certification programs. These trainings are carried out in accordance with the regulations established by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation And standards specified in the IATA Airport Handling Manual. In addition to these trainings provided by related companies, we also provide refresher trainings. For instance, standard operating procedures checks on correct use of IATA pharma label, use of IATA pharma acceptance checklist, service providers implementing pharma specific SOP’s and dedicated pharma handling.

We started providing thermal dolly service, which is an active temperature controlled dolly used for the transportation of temperature sensitive cargo in between temperature controlled rooms and aircraft, and we will be planning to expand this service through 2017. Furthermore, along with these improvements we are planning to launch new products for pharmaceuticals shipments in 2017. Turkish Cargo will continue to provide technology-driven logistics solutions to individual customers and major corporations.

Author Bio

Seref Kazanci

Seref Kazanci who was born in Istanbul in 1979, was graduated from Istanbul University, after which he started his career in the industrial production sector. Later, in 2011, he continued his career at Turkish Ground Services, one of the Turkish Airlines’ affiliate, as purchasing supervisor and later assumed the role of purchasing manager. In the early 2016, Kazanci joined Turkish Cargo, the cargo subdivision of Turkish Airlines, as Vice President and on September 2016 he assumed his new role as Senior Vice President of Turkish Cargo.

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