Brussels is Panalpina’s first station to have obtained this certificate, which is becoming the benchmark for air freight related cross-dock operations for healthcare products. The fully GDP (Good Distribution Practice) compliant and TAPA-A (Transported Asset Protection Association) certified facility is split into two main areas. An area of 940 m2, with a rack-storage capacity of 328 (Euro) pallets and an additional capacity of 450 pallets that can be placed on the floor, is dedicated to cargo that has to be kept at ‘Controlled Room Temperature’ between 15°C and 25°C. Cargo that needs to be kept at a temperature between 2°C and 8°C can be stored in a cold cell of 32 m2 with a storage capacity of 25 pallets.
“Our capabilities in Brussels and elsewhere in the world are not linked to the infrastructure alone,” says Jaime Aznar, Panalpina’s corporate healthcare quality assurance and regulatory manager. “Our customers can rely on our own trained and very experienced staff on-site. They oversee all operations and immediately intervene if necessary. Our processes are tried and tested.”
Two organizations have now certified Panalpina Brussels, where GDP compliant operations commenced in August 2012, from a healthcare perspective: Belgium’s Federal Agency of Medical and Health Products (FAMHP) and IATA. The CEIV Pharma standard encompasses, or even supersedes, many of the existing pharmaceutical standards.
“Our certifications give our healthcare customers assurance that we can safely handle their valuable and sensitive products, be it human or veterinarian finished products, active pharmaceutical ingredients or medical devices, in a manner that is fully compliant with the highest standards,” says Frank Raeckelboom, Panalpina’s Belgium head of quality, health, safety and environment
Many international pharmaceutical companies have head offices, production sites as well as research and development centers in or close to Brussels. They have told Panalpina that the recent events do not have any impact on the strategic importance of Brussels as a hub for pharmaceutical shipments by air.
Panalpina, present in Belgium since 1968, employs over 170 staff in Brussels, Antwerp and Liège.