On September 29, FCS Frankfurt Cargo Services successfully concluded the CEIV certification process, confirming that the company officially meets the high standards that apply to transportation of pharmaceutical products. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) gives this certification to companies that can ensure high quality across the board for sensitive medical products. With vital deliveries of large quantities of vaccine for the novel coronavirus likely to be needed in the near future, these kinds of handling options are becoming more important than ever before.
“The requirements that apply to safe storage and transportation of pharmaceutical products have been evolving steadily in recent years. Pharmaceutical handling is very demanding. It requires clear and stable processes for product safety. Earning certification according to the IATA CEIV standard confirms to us and our customers the quality of FCS’s longstanding activities in this segment,” says Stefan Kassau, Manager Processes & Pharma Handling at FCS. He adds, “It is the basis and incentive for continuing and building on our successful work and guaranteeing our customers that their pharmaceutical consignments will be handled safely at Frankfurt Airport.”
The certification adds value for FCS in terms of the company’s own competencies as well. The IATA audit found the internal training on handling pharmaceutical products that is incorporated into the FCS training concept according to IATA CEIV specifications to be good.
A smooth and uninterrupted cold chain is vital to reliable pharmaceutical logistics. Many pharmaceutical products are very sensitive to even the slightest fluctuations in temperature, and some can even lose efficacy. This makes well-trained staff essential, alongside high-performance warehouses with stable refrigeration and cooling options.
“In the course of the certification process, the FCS special warehouses were equipped with a state-of-the-art new temperature monitoring system and underwent an in-depth audit. Functionality and safety for the products was confirmed by the necessary temperature mapping activities,” says Christoph Cyranek, Manager Quality Assurance & Performance Improvement at FCS. “As part of our preparations for the logistics involving Covid-19 vaccines that is presumably coming up, this certification comes at just the right time, of course. As the first step, we already decided to expand our existing infrastructure so even more handling space can be provided for active refrigerated containers,” he notes.
The next big step, what is known as GDP certification, is also coming up soon. EU “good distribution practice” (GDP) certification for medical products for human use, like CEIV certification, serves to monitor the distribution chain with an eye to the quality and intactness of medicinal products. Unlike CEIV certification, however, it addresses a larger segment of the economy, since GDP certification relates to the entire process of transportation from the producer through to the end customer, independent of airfreight.
Working in tandem with other companies based at Frankfurt Airport that also have CEIV certification, like Fraport Ground Services, a safe, high-quality transportation chain at Frankfurt Airport can be ensured between cargo and apron handlers and airlines. This makes Frankfurt Airport even more attractive as a transshipment point for the pharmaceutical industry, which is especially strong in Germany.
About FCS Frankfurt Cargo Services
FCS Frankfurt Cargo Services is an affiliate of WFS Worldwide Flight Services, one of the world’s largest cargo handling companies, and of Fraport AG, the owner and operator of Frankfurt Airport, one of the largest airports in Europe. FCS is the largest airline-independent cargo handling company at Frankfurt Airport, offering full-service packages encompassing all aspects of physical handling and documentation of cargo. Our approximately 700 experienced employees handle 650,000 tons of airfreight for more than 50 international airlines here.