Virgin Atlantic Cargo, Delta Cargo Unveil New Pharma Zone

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PTSM: Pharmaceutical Technology Sourcing and Management

PTSM: Pharmaceutical Technology Sourcing and Management-11-01-2017, Volume 12, Issue 11

Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo have opened a new Pharma Zone at their joint facility at London Heathrow Airport for the handling and storage of pharmaceutical shipments.

On Oct. 2, 2017, joint venture partners Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo opened a new Pharma Zone at their joint facility at London Heathrow Airport. The Pharma Zone is a fully-segregated area for handling and storing pharmaceutical shipments within a strictly-regulated temperature environment with active container storage. The area will support the temperature-controlled healthcare and life-science products being carried by both airlines.

The new facility includes two walk-in pods capable of maintaining 2–8 °C container off load (COL) and 15–25 °C controlled room temperature (CRT) temperature ranges for loose pharma shipments. Above the floor of the area is a temperature-controlled storage system for 24 pallets, split into six separate chambers, each of which can be safely maintained within either a 2–8 °C or 15–25 °C temperature range.

Other features include a cargo door to speed pharma shipment flow through the warehouse and reduce the time products spend outside of a temperature-controlled environment, and 10 charging points for active cargo containers. Good distribution practice (GDP) training has also been provided to the team of specialists assigned to the facility.

Darren Sherlock, manager of products and partnerships at Virgin Atlantic Cargo and leader of the project, said: “The opening of the Pharma Zone is the latest enhancement to the pharma products of both airlines. This has also recently seen Delta Cargo become the first US global passenger carrier to gain the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) certified in entity and intangible valuations (CEIV) pharma logistics certification corporately, and at its Atlanta operational hub, while Virgin Atlantic Cargo is on track to achieve Wholesale Distribution Authorization (WDA) certification in the UK by the end of the year to confirm our GDP compliance. This reflects our joint commitment to delivering the correct level of service required for temperature-controlled pharma products at both origin and destination points across our networks.”


According to Shawn Cole, vice-president at Delta Cargo, in a company press release, the opening of the London Heathrow facility is a first venture of this nature for the two companies. Plans to expand these specified areas to other airports, including JFK in New York and Los Angeles, are expected to be completed in 2018.

Source: Delta Cargo