The Value of Air freight in Temperature Controlled Logistics

Air Freight vs Sea Freight? Industry experts share their thoughts on the continued importance of air freight logistics



Adam Muspratt
07/19/2018

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You may remember our article about the importance of ocean freight shipping. This week, we are giving air fright some time to shine in the spotlight. Pharma Logistics IQ recently interviewed industry experts Amy Shortman CEO of ASC Associates and Francisco Rizzuto Cargo Specialist at IATA. 

You can find the full report below, but here is a rundown of the pressing issues Amy and Francisco discussed.

What factors need to be considered? 

Multiple factors affect the decision to choose a particular mode of transport for pharmaceuticals. Some in the industry believe these factors are more focused around the product itself and the value of replacing the product, for example, low-value products are less able to absorb the value of the freight.

SEE ALSO: Pharma ocean freight enters new waters

Others argue that the biggest consideration when choosing transport for pharmaceutical logistics is the risk to the end-user if there is a delay or problem with the shipment. Either way, thorough risk assessments are necessary when selecting a suitable mode of transport and considerations must be made about the costs of replacing the product if something were to go wrong. 

  • Capacity oversupply
    Overcapacity has created a more competitive service for manufacturers and as a result, services have become more temperature-controlled pharmaceutical focused, which is positive for the quality of the products.

  • Weak Points
    It is widely acknowledged that the weakest points in the air freight supply chain are the transfer points between the different players. Staff training, increased planning for the aircraft type and increased due diligence are areas that require more attention. 

  • Cost efficiency
    A key element of cost saving and efficiency in
    the air freight industry is modernisation and the use of technology for process improvement and optimisation. Like other industries, pharma logistics companies face the challenge of incorporating digitisation, despite the cargo industry not being technology driven. 

  • The future of air freight
    With the demise of huge blockbuster drugs hitting the market every couple of years, the generics industry now covers a large proportion of the generic medicines that are being delivered to patients. transportation methods will be approached in a far more cost-conscious manner in the years to come.


This report is available to all (free) Pharma Logistics IQ subscribers.

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