IATA OKs DHL air freight site for cold chain API and drug shipment

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has certified a DHL air freight station in Leipzig, Germany for the cold storage and shipment of APIs and finished pharmaceuticals.

The Leipzig facility – which is operated by the Deutsche Post DHL Group’s DHL Global Forwarding division - comprises 2,760 square meters of space with dedicated cold and ambient storage areas. 

It was assessed by independent auditors who confirmed its compliance with Temperature Control Regulations (TCR), EU Good Distribution Practices (GDP) guidelines, Annex 5 of the World Health Organization and the United States Pharmacopeia Standards (USP).

Spokesperson David Stöppler told us the station “is involved in the shipment of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and drugs” ​adding that the “IATA CEIV Pharma certification covers also APIs​.”

DHL Global Forwarding began seeking IATA certification for its sites last year, beginning with its facility in Bogota, Colombia. Achieving certification requires investments in staff training and monitoring technologies.

Beyond GDP

Under current European Commission (EC) GDP guidelines​ organisations involved in shipping drugs and ingredients are required to have suitable equipment and procedures to monitor the temperature of storage areas.

The guidelines state that: "An initial temperature mapping exercise should be carried out on the storage area before use, under representative conditions.

“Temperature monitoring equipment should be located according to the results of the mapping exercise, ensuring that monitoring devices are positioned in areas that experience the extremes of fluctuations."

In 2014​, after Brussels airport achieved CEIV certification, IATA spokesman Chris Goater told us “It goes beyond the GDP as all industry stakeholders can decide to undertake the CEIV certification whereas traditional GDP are more focused on wholesalers or distributors.

He added that: “It incorporates all the specificities of the air cargo industry whereas the GDP are generic across all modes of transport and to that effect IATA has the expertise​.”

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