Aviation article(s)
February 14, 2024

Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Airways, achieved year-on-year growth of the carrier's dedicated cool chain products — PharmaLife and FreshForward — in 2023.


The airline said it recorded the highest volumes of pharmaceuticals transported in Etihad Cargo's history, achieving a 37% increase in shipments compared to 2022.


The carrier also transported 10% more fresh and perishable shipments, making 2023 the third consecutive year Etihad Cargo has achieved growth for both products.



Etihad Cargo said it has continuously invested in and added features to its cool chain product range, including PharmaLife for the shipment of pharmaceuticals, healthcare and life sciences commodities and FreshForward for the shipment of perishable fresh produce, including fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat and flowers.


The carrier holds IATA's Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) certification in Pharmaceutical and Fresh logistics.


Contributing to the increase in cool chain volumes transported by Etihad Cargo in 2023 was the opening of the carrier's dedicated pharma hub, which has doubled its cool chain storage and handling capacity.


Etihad Cargo said the 3,300 square-metre facility comprises the latest technology and features, including RFS loading docks with levellers, insulation and floor work for faster and more efficient loading with stricter temperature controls, increased storage space, additional build-up and breakdown zones for improved production workflows and upgraded cool chain facilities for pharma handling and storage operations.


"Since launching the new pharmaceutical centre in July 2023, Etihad Cargo immediately achieved an increase in pharmaceutical volumes, recording a 39% increase in July, a 40% increase in August and a 41% increase in September," the carrier added.


Etihad Cargo has also refurbished its perishables handling and storage facility.


The carrier noted that it operates a 3,000-square-metre dedicated perishables temperature-controlled warehouse, providing smoother transfers to Etihad Cargo's FreshForward truck fleet, making the end-to-end journey of perishables easier and safer.


"Etihad Cargo is fully aligned with Abu Dhabi's vision of becoming a global logistics, pharmaceuticals and perishables hub," said Leonard Rodrigues, acting managing director at Etihad Cargo.


Beyond Abu Dhani, Etihad Cargo's PharmaLife network covers over 62 destinations.


To strengthen connections between Abu Dhabi and the rest of the world, Etihad Cargo has developed over 1,330 IATA CEIV Pharma/ Good Distribution Practice (GDP)-certified trade lanes, ensuring product integrity.


It said that in 2023, the carrier recorded a 10.3% increase in volumes transported via the first-of-its-kind corridor and has shipped over 70% more pharmaceutical and life sciences cargo volumes since the corridor's creation.


The carrier noted that the consistent growth for the Abu Dhabi to Brussels lane has been a major contributing factor to Etihad Cargo achieving the highest recorded PharmaLife tonnage since the carrier's inception.


"The establishment of Pharma Corridor 2.0 and an expansive global PharmaLife network has enabled Etihad Cargo to bring much-needed transparency, traceability and trackability to the sector, benefiting not only customers but also the global pharma supply chain," Rodrigues said.


"... Etihad Cargo is now actively exploring further opportunities to create additional corridors between Abu Dhabi and other key markets to bring these benefits to more regions critical to the manufacture and supply of pharmaceuticals," he added, noting that its newly launched Fresh Corridor 2.0 between Abu Dhabi and the Netherlands, resulted in a 42% increase in fresh volumes transported.


In Asia, the carrier added a fourth gateway destination in China — Ezhou — in 2023 and offers more belly-hold cargo capacity across new passenger routes to Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram, operating seven flights per week to each destination.


Seven new passenger flights to Chennai bring the total number of weekly flights to 21, supported by a twice-weekly freighter service.


Rodrigues said, for example, Etihad Cargo has expanded in India — which represents 30%-40% of the global production of generic medications and supplies medicines to over 200 countries — and has doubled its PharmaLife volumes ex India.


Etihad Cargo recently announced it will be implementing enhanced cargo screening requirements for US-bound shipments from selected stations, including Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad, and Bangkok, Jakarta, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Singapore.


Etihad Cargo said the enhanced cargo screening requirements would benefit Etihad Cargo's partners and customers through shorter transit times in Abu Dhabi, reduced handling and repackaging at transit points, and quick ramp transfer (QRT) and through units (TRU) shipments.

Verification Code: