Qatar Airways Cargo signed an agreement with DoKaSch Temperature Solutions to offer its Opticooler® range of temperature-controlled containers, providing Qatar Airways Cargo customers with the option to choose from a range of active containers to transport their pharmaceuticals across the cargo carrier’s extensive global network.

Qatar Airways Cargo Chief Officer Ulrich Ogiermann said that through the agreement, they have expanded their active container offering for customers, presenting business partners with more options to transport their pharmaceuticals.

DoKaSch Temperature Solutions Managing Director Andreas Seitz also said that they are very pleased to make Opticooler® containers available through one of the world’s largest international cargo carriers.

We are convinced that with Qatar Airways Cargo’s extensive and rapidly-growing network, and our joint commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, this partnership will provide a great solution for the global Pharma cool chain.’

The Active Cool Containers RAP and RKN Opticooler® are equipped with electric, battery-powered cooling compressors and heaters and require no dry ice. This high-end packaging solution safeguards the efficacy of vital pharmaceuticals throughout the transportation chain. Valued for their exceptional reliability and performance in any climate, these active containers keep the cargo within a temperature range of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius or 15 to 25 degrees Celsius. The system features a straightforward touchscreen interface, making the temperature setting extremely dependable.

Qatar Airways Cargo also announced the launch of its brand new Climate Control Centre, a 2,470 square metre airside transit facility for temperature-sensitive cargo. The facility features two temperature-controlled zones operating at both 2 to 8 and 15 to 25 degrees Celsius with a capacity to hold a total of 156 ULDs (unit load devices) at a time. Segregated sections within the facility enable storage of pharmaceutical products in compliance with ‘Good Distribution Practice’ (GDP) guidelines. To ensure complete temperature integrity, the facility is equipped with six truck docks, each with inflated curtains and an anteroom as a staging area.

QR Pharma is Qatar Airways Cargo’s specialist product developed for pharmaceuticals and healthcare cargo. It offers both active solutions to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the transportation chain, as well as passive solutions that handle products within a desired temperature band during all stages of the journey. As an industry leader, the cargo carrier ensures the fastest transfer at Doha through its unique Quick Ramp Transfer (QRT). It is the only cargo carrier in the Middle East to offer refrigerated or ‘reefer’ truck services for ramp transfers at its home hub.

Qatar Airways Cargo has invested considerably in quality handling, infrastructure, facilities, people and procedures at each of its Pharma stations, underpinning the need for high operating standards for transporting pharmaceuticals and healthcare products. Expertly-trained staff at every Pharma destination ensure the cool chain is unbroken. Plans are underway to add IoT devices on board the aircraft that will provide real-time temperature updates, enhancing and completing the end-to-end track and trace service.

The significant investments in the cool chain and expansion of its Pharma network are part of the cargo carrier’s strategy and commitment to improve and enhance its product offering for the benefit of the pharmaceutical industry globally. The cargo carrier’s QR Pharma volumes have grown by 42% in 2016-17 over 2015-16.

Qatar Airways Cargo’s expanding Pharma network spans 73 stations, with the recent addition of Colombo and Dublin. It pioneered industry-leading Pharma Express flights from the key pharmaceutical hubs of Basel, Brussels, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad, supporting the huge pharmaceutical exports from these destinations.

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