Pressing Matter: Pharma futures

Alex Lennane, publisher at The Loadstar, asks whether IATA's pharmaceutical quality programme is worthwhile

CEIV, or not to CEIV: that is the question. Since IATA launched its pharmaceutical quality programme, logistics companies have grappled with its worth. It was seen initially as little more than a marketing tool but as more sign up, not joining is being seen as a competitive disadvantage, particularly in Europe.

Companies that have implemented CEIV have observed top-quality training and expertise, high standards – and fewer temperature excursions. But others point to high implementation costs, lack of shipper endorsement, and the already-accepted GDP certification that many companies, including Cathay Pacific, have adopted. ‘We believe GDP was the right way to go, but should CEIV become market standard tomorrow, then I guess we might adopt it,’ said one handler.

Brussels Airport Community has gone one step further. Together with Miami International Airport, it has launched a global organisation dedicated to improving standards in pharma transport, Head of Brussels Cargo Steven Polmans said: ‘CEIV shows you are serious about pharma. But we want to take the next step: how can we further innovate and find solutions that are a concern to the industry today?’