Feature, Freight News, Air, Logistics

Experts share cool chain knowledge

[ October 22, 2020   //   ]

The Cool Chain Association (CCA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support safe, sustainable transport of perishables and pharmaceuticals by sharing knowledge and best practice.

They also plan to develop common work programs, including temporary task forces and round tables, for specific initiatives such as the transport of vaccines and life science products.

Representatives of both organisations will attend each other’s industry meetings as observers, to present best practice and communicate the results of ongoing projects such as the CCA’s data sharing trials.

As a first step, on 21 October CCA took part in IATA’s webinar on the industry’s readiness for the transportation of vaccines and life science products lead by Andrea Gruber, IATA head of special cargo.

Nicola Caristo, CCA secretary general and airline partner manager at airfreight container maker SkyCell, said “Both CCA and IATA have a common interest in ensuring the secure handling and transport of perishables and pharmaceuticals by means of robust standards. Through this agreement we are establishing a formal basis of collaboration to better assist the global industry to improve, as well as increasing sustainability and reducing waste.

“We will be working together to promote the implementation of methodologies and quality criteria such as the Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Fresh and Pharma programs.”

IATA’s global head of cargo, Glyn Hughes added: “Air cargo has been critical throughout this crisis in supporting medical staff on the front line fighting Covid whilst ensuring that global supply chains are maintained for the most time-sensitive products including medical and food supplies. With these experiences it is evident that collaboration and alignment with industry initiatives are key elements that will transform the future of our industry.

“This MOU between the CCA and IATA formalizes an ongoing collaboration between the two organizations with the aim of better assisting the industry in improving the quality of pharmaceutical and perishable consignment handling and transportation.”

CCA members are now planning a new series of data sharing tests, under a project called the LAX Initiative, to monitor perishable shipments on global trade lanes in a bid to improve supply chain management and reduce food loss.

Andrea Gruber, head of special cargo at IATA and Nicola Caristo, CCA secretary general and airline partner manager, SkyCell