American Airlines Cargo has a significant commitment to — and investment in — the temperature-controlled market, which includes a key focus on pharmaceuticals and healthcare, as well as perishables. Philadelphia (PHL) is its global pharma hub, which is a dedicated, 25,000-square-foot, purpose-built facility, featuring multiple temperature ranges. A variety of additional pharmaceutical facilities are also positioned across the world, including at major pharma locations such as Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), New York (JFK), Miami (MIA), San Juan (SJU), London Heathrow (LHR), Paris (CDG), Frankfurt (FRA) and Madrid (MAD).
American uses a combination of active containers, temperature-controlled rooms, 24/7 monitoring, dedicated processes and expedited handling on the tarmac to ensure the integrity of all temperature-sensitive healthcare shipments in its possession. The carrier also offers enhanced tracking capabilities in order to increase visibility and to facilitate ease of use. Additionally, they are continuously evaluating strategic investment in new temp-controlled infrastructure across the system.
Products and demand for temperature-controlled solutions
In addition to pharma and healthcare, proper temperature control is vital for perishable commodities, such as flowers, fruits, vegetables, seafood and tropical fish. Globally, customers are increasingly educated and conscious about the quality of the food they consume, be it produce or meat. For that reason, American anticipates food shipments will drive perishable demand in the near future. They’ve also seen advancements in refrigeration technology as a trend, along with finding more streamlined and accurate ways to increase the shelf life of sensitive goods—edibles in particular. To that end, several of its major cargo terminals have refrigeration capabilities to protect perishables during transportation.
The MIA hub has a dedicated perishables program that ensures product freshness and on-time delivery. Dedicated facilities, confirmed cooler space and expedited, in-house USDA and U.S. Customs clearance are just a few reasons customers choose American’s perishables program when shipping through MIA.
“The speed and temperature-control capabilities we can offer as an air carrier give our customers more global options for shipping pharmaceuticals and perishable products with shorter shelf lives to even more locations around the world,” said Tom Grubb, sr. manager, Cold Chain – Cargo Strategy.
Especially for pharma: ExpediteTC° active and passive cold chain solutions
ExpediteTC° is American’s temperature-control solution specifically designed for pharmaceuticals and healthcare, providing service to and from Asia, Europe, Latin America and the U.S. The service is available to over 150 destinations across the world in 45-plus countries. As an added bonus, the carrier’s policy guarantees a rate of 100 percent flown-as-booked for products that fly via ExpediteTC.
The service offers pharma-specific active and passive options depending on the customer's individual requirements. ExpediteTC active services use advanced, temperature-controlled containers to actively regulate temperature levels. American was the first U.S.-based passenger carrier approved to carry the full suite of Envirotainer products, which provide consistent, transparent, quality service for sensitive products that are shipped by air. American also partners with CSafe for its active services, utilizing its temperature-controlled RKN containers. These containers enable customers to provide accurate, thermostatic temp control through the transportation cycle.
Meanwhile, the passive side of American’s ExpediteTC product protects pre-packaged shipments that require additional temperature control during transport. Specialized gel packs or dry ice used in packaging are aided by expert handling and temperature-controlled environments along the cold chain. Multiple layers of monitoring exist throughout the process to preserve and ensure the integrity of shipments.
Temperature-controlled products are expedited to the ramp and loaded soon thereafter, minimizing exposure time on the tarmac. This is yet another benefit of the service aimed at protecting these delicate products and, therefore, the patient at the end of the supply chain.
PHL is one of the largest, dedicated healthcare handling facilities in the U.S. The facility features multiple temperature-controlled spaces, coupled with a highly trained team of professionals who deliver the highest service standards possible. American also partners with specialist pharma freight companies around the world to provide end-to-end services that shippers need to retain the safety and efficacy of the products.
“The pharma market will continue to evolve in the coming years,” says Roger Samways, VP of Cargo Sales. “Drug companies, supported by regulatory oversight, have increased their demands to ensure the efficacy of their products at a time when individualized treatment plans for patients have become the norm. From 2015 to 2016, we saw year-over-year growth of over 30 percent in the healthcare sector alone, and we expect that number to continue climbing.”
Please visit aacargo.com for more information about American Airlines Cargo’s products and services, as well as additional details about packaging requirements for temperature-controlled goods.