How the COOL collaborate


Air transport of pharma and perishables holds untapped opportunity. Getting the COOL delivery chain right is the key to unlocking it.


The opportunity: According to Pharmaceutical Commerce, global spending for temperature management services in biopharma logistics alone is expected to reach USD 14.4 billion by 2018, and far greater for perishables. A significant portion of this cargo is delivered by air.

The challenge: Lack of clearly defined processes and coordination in the delivery chain means that annual losses through spoilage and contamination are unacceptably high.

The solution: Build a better delivery chain through industry collaboration, transparency and standardization.

To listen to Fredrik Wildtgrube, head of Global Sales for Finnair Cargo, there is only one way to ensure success in the fast-growing pharma and perishables air cargo market: re-image the entire delivery chain, and take the lead in making it better.

Facilities come together

“Data had been telling us that air transport as a portion of global pharma deliveries was in decline,” says Wildtgrube. “The best way to tackle this challenge was simply to build a better chain, not just improve one link of it.”

Already, Finnair Cargo has three high profile actions underway that contribute to this endeavor: The building of its next-generation COOL terminal due to open in 2017, the launch of its new cargo management system SkyChain in December 2016, and the acquisition of nineteen state-of-the-art Airbus 350s, which began already in 2015.

“These are steps we as a company have been able to make independently. But there is a real challenge in modernizing the entire COOL chain where there are forwarders, truckers and ground personnel who handle our cargo consignments before and after us,” notes Wildtgrube.

“Any player in any part of the chain can make the difference between success or failure of a delivery.”

Upping everyone’s game

Wildtgrube points to actions that Finnair has undertaken to strengthen and unify all of the participants in the COOL chain.

“We seriously take building and sharing our competence in pharma cargo handling,” says Wildtgrube.

“Finnair was the first airline in the world to earn IATA’s CEIV Certificate (Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Handling). This creates a baseline for us to engage with all of our COOL chain partners in setting common standards for operator certification, training, cargo validation, pharma handling and much more.”

Additionally, Wildtgrube notes that Finnair is very active in global events organized by industry associations that target players in the pharma and perishables delivery business, like the Luxembourg-based Cool Chain Association.

“Our mission is to improve the quality and efficiency of the temperature-sensitive supply chain, including both pharma and other perishable products like food and flowers,” explains Edwin Kalischnig, Secretary General of the Cool Chain Association. “We bring together participants in the COOL chain through seminars and projects designed to stimulate innovation and cooperation.”

Kalischnig adds, “We’re pleased to see Finnair take a high-profile role in some of our events, formally sharing their activities with us.”

Text by Michael Larkin
Illustration by iStock


Published November 11, 2016

Category: Collaboration, Finnair Cargo