A record shipment for WFS’ new pharma centre in Paris


Worldwide Flight Services’ (WFS) new Pharma Centre at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport has handled its biggest single shipment so far of 34 temperature-controlled containers for customers AirBridgeCargo Airlines and Kuehne + Nagel.

Maintained within a +2-8 degrees Celsius temperature environment, the outbound shipment to Beijing spent 24-48 hours in the Pharma Centre in preparation for its delivery to China onboard one of AirBridgeCargo’s Boeing 747 freighters.

AirBridgeCargo has been a regular customer of WFS’ IATA CEIV certified Pharma Centre since the €10 million facility opened in the second half of 2019. To confirm compliance with its own requirements, Kuehne + Nagel also conducted its own audit of the Centre before commencing shipments.

WFS’ Pharma Centre is the only dedicated facility at Paris CDG – the second largest air cargo gateway in Europe. With a team of highly-trained and dedicated pharma handling experts, the Centre offers temperature-controlled warehousing and handling services as well as a transport fleet specifically adapted to guarantee the integrity of pharmaceutical shipments. Already, some 30 airlines and freight forwarders are using the Pharma Centre regularly to support their strict pharma product requirements, and WFS expects the operation to process over 8,000 tonnes of healthcare and life science products in 2020.

Hugo Rodrigues, Vice President Cargo France at WFS, said: “Our decision to invest in this state-of-the-art facility to support our airline and freight forwarder customers, as well as the pharmaceutical industry, has already been validated by the strong demand we are seeing from so many different organisations. This particular shipment for AirBridgeCargo and Kuehne + Nagel was the biggest so far and helped to demonstrate the capabilities of both the facility and our team. With the need for pharma products all over the globe likely to soar in 2020, we will deliver the capacity and quality of service our customers need to ensure the integrity and efficiency of their pharma supply chains.”

Note to editors:

WFS continues to invest in pharma handling centres at locations around its global network. In 2019, this included the opening of other facilities in Copenhagen, Johannesburg, Miami and New York JFK as well as Paris CDG. Located in the heart of the airport’s cargo area, WFS’ 2,400m² Pharma Centre in Paris offers landside and airside acceptance capabilities and significant temperature-controlled storage. The dedicated operation has its own docks and maneuvering area for the loading and unloading of temperature-controlled pharmaceutical shipments and incorporates:

• a dedicated room for loose cargo storage at +15 to +25°C with a capacity for 108 euro-pallets on four levels of racking.

• a separate cold room for loose cargo storage at +2 to +8°C with the capacity to store 47 euro-pallets on the ground, and with additional racking also available.

• a small freezing room for loose cargo storage at -20°C capable of handling 9 euro-pallets at a time.

• two temperature-controlled areas for +2 to +25°C for cargo unit load devices with a combined capacity to store 53 P2P or 106 AKE pallets.

New technologies used in the facility include digital systems to improve operational efficiency and shipment visibility. The warehouse management system (WMS) supports the use of barcode scanning for real-time storage capacity monitoring and management, ensuring constant tracking of shipments from the Pharma Centre to and from aircraft, with time and date statements available on demand. A temperature monitoring solution with a Cloud platform also collects temperature and humidity data in real-time via sensors and enables this information to be accessed on mobile devices.

Pulse, WFS’ cloud-based global platform for incident and inspection management has also been successfully deployed. With its mobile application functionality, Pulse enables real-time reporting of non-conformities and access to live dashboards. New functionalities are being developed to generate immediate automated reports for customers. The WFS Pharma Centre is served by a fleet of exclusively-designed temperature-controlled three-pallet trailers and cool dollies as part of WFS’ end-to-end airport handling solution and works in accordance with the strict temperature requirements for specific pharmaceutical product groups. It is also equipped with controlled-access and screening, CCTV and alarm systems to ensure 24/7 safety and security, monitored by the company’s Security Operational Centre.

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