More options to keep Indian pharma shipments cool

Full range of Envirotainer’s temperature-controlled containers now available for Cathay Pacific Cargo shipments from Mumbai and Hyderabad

Cathay Pacific Cargo has strengthened its array of temperature-controlled options for shipments from India, after supplier Envirotainer upgraded its active container inventory at two of its stations.

Envirotainer now provides all four types of its active temperature-controlled containers – the RKN t2, RAP t2, RKN e1 and RAP e2 – from its stations at Mumbai and Hyderabad. These two stations now become the 32nd and 33rd of the container company’s offices worldwide to offer the flagship RAP e2 solution, one of the most advanced temperature-controlled air cargo containers available.

Cathay Pacific Assistant Manager Cargo Products Stephen Ng said: ‘Envirotainer now offers cooltainers that provide a temperature range from a deep-frozen minus -20C to a controlled room temperature of +25C, which fits with the majority of pharma shipment requirements.’

The move is good news for pharma customers in India. Adrian Gomes, Mumbai Strategic Account Manager for Envirotainer, said: ‘Working together with Cathay, we have found a partner that is customer-centric and shares our passion and drive to always ensure the medicines that patients depend upon arrive on time and in the right condition.’

(From left) Allied Aviation Pvt Ltd.’s Sharath Nair and Ajay Singh, Cathay Pacific Cargo’s Vishal Pillai, Envirotainer’s Strategic Account Manager Adrian Gomes, and Cathay Pacific Cargo’s Zubin Daver

Such shipments are highly beneficial to India’s air cargo industry. According to Seabury, while India’s overall air cargo market saw negative growth between January and September 2019, the pharma segment grew by nearly 10 per cent. India has the world’s third-largest pharma market by volume, which is expected to keep growing by around 16 per cent annually until 2024.

While currently most of that volume comes from the manufacture of generic drugs, major pharma shippers are also growing their vaccine, biotech, clinical trial and R&D facilities there, taking advantage of the country’s relatively lower operational costs and IT expertise. Such is the strength of India’s pharma industry that the USFDA (US Food and Drug Administration) has an office in the country, and India is one of the biggest pharma export markets to the US.

Ng said: ‘Cathay Pacific Cargo and Envirotainer cooperate closely at Mumbai and Hyderabad, and we are helping to actively market the cooltainers. These new arrangements will be of great benefit to our customers by improving our speed to market in these two growing pharma markets.’

Juze Fernandes, Deputy Manager – Air Export, Region West, for Schenker India Pvt Ltd., agreed. ‘The Mumbai Envirotainer station service enhancement has ensured faster availability of active container options with Cathay Pacific,’ he said. ‘Reliability and ease are crucial in building customer confidence.’