Logistics & Supply Chain

Brussels Airport: Refrigerated tarmac transport for pharmaceutical products

14.12.2015 -

For the transport of temperature-sensitive products between storehouses and aircraft on the tarmac Brussels Airport has developed the “airside pharma transporter” - an innovative, own-invention refrigerated transporter.

The “airside pharma transporter” is a trailer on which an insulated cool box is installed. What is really innovative is the technology that allows the temperature and location of the refrigerated transporter to be monitored in real time. It is very important to control the temperature of pharmaceutical shipments because the products may no longer usable if there have been temperature fluctuations.

The transporter was developed as part of the Flanders Farma Hub project in collaboration with all partners of “BRUcargo”, the dedicated cargo area of Brussels Airport, and in conjunction with all the major pharmaceutical producers with manufacturing or distribution centers in Belgium. In the course of December four transporters will be put into service at “BRUcargo”.

The Flanders Farma Hub project sets out to bring together both pharmaceutical and logistics players to work on solutions to concrete problems regarding the transport of pharmaceuticals, and so stimulate improvements and innovations. That is why the Province of Flemish Brabant also threw its weight behind the project and co-financed it.

“The pharmaceutical sector is very important in our country. As an airport, we want to be an innovative partner when it comes to guaranteeing the cold chain for their products. Transport between storehouse and the aircraft is not without risk. With the “airside pharma transporter”, we now have a unique and above all reliable solution that is also environmentally-friendly and is four times less expensive than existing transport equipment with refrigeration that is suitable for use on the tarmac,” says Arnaud Feist, CEO, Brussels Airport Company.

Voka, the Halle-Vilvoorde Chamber of Commerce, is also supporting the project. Paul Hegge, Director General: “The national airport is extremely important for the economy and employment in our region and way beyond it. Collaboration with the pharmaceutical sector makes this European first a truly top project and an example for other projects for temperature-sensitive goods in coming years. The reputation of BRUcargo is also further enhanced as the preferred airport for the transport of pharmaceuticals.”