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Release Date:
Release ID: 5753

Brazil receives exceptionally large, urgent pharmaceutical shipment

Last month, Panalpina delivered an exceptionally large shipment of pharmaceutical products to Brazil. A cargo plane took off from Frankfurt airport on February 9th carrying 187 pallets of temperature-sensitive cargo, destined for Brasília International Airport. The shipment was an urgent order from the Brazilian Ministry of Health, which needed to be delivered at very short notice. The pharmaceuticals manufacturer contacted Panalpina on a Wednesday evening and the cargo plane with the valuable goods on board took off the following Tuesday morning.

The Ministry of Health is responsible for distributing pharmaceuticals to the different federal states across Brazil. The cargo, consisting of a large quantity of blood clotting medicine used to treat patients with hemophilia, was the biggest ever pharmaceutical shipment for Panalpina’s customer to be delivered to Latin America in one go. Brazil has the third largest population of people with hemophilia in the world, for which, the public health system provides free comprehensive care.

The initial transport plan was to fly out the whole volume over a period of two months on aircraft leaving from Paris. But due to an extraordinary order from the Brazilian Ministry of Health, it was necessary to fulfil the shipment in a much shorter timeframe. Three previously planned shipments were consolidated into one, which presented Panalpina with the challenge of organizing the entire operation in less than four working days.

Panalpina’s customer account team in Switzerland worked closely with Panalpina’s Charter Network team in Luxembourg and local teams in France, Germany and Brazil to make it happen. To ensure the mission’s success, Panalpina also worked hand in hand with a trucking subcontractor, Lufthansa and Envirotainer.

Requirements by the Brazilian authorities, Anvisa, meant the cargo had to be transported in a strict temperature range between +2 C and +8 C. To facilitate this, the customer and Panalpina decided that chartering a MD-11F cargo plane holding 35 Envirotainers (active temperature-controlled containers for air shipments) was the best option. Panalpina chose to work with the Lufthansa Cargo Cool Centre in Frankfurt, because it was able to handle the combination of a large quantity of cargo and strict temperature control. Getting the temperature-sensitive medicine from Paris to Frankfurt first, was no easy feat, but Panalpina organized the transport with a qualified trucking company in less than 12 hours. Seven temperature-controlled trucks brought the 187 pallets of cargo from France to Germany over the weekend. In the meantime, enough Envirotainers for the transatlantic flight had to be secured.

Compliance with quality standards is of the highest importance on all Panalpina projects, but due to the urgency and value of the goods for this shipment, it was necessary to monitor operations even more fastidiously. At Frankfurt airport, employees from many different companies worked together to provide the safest and most efficient handling for the cargo. In a 24/7 operation, local Panalpina staff supervised and assisted with the entire loading operation until everything was ready for uplift. When the flight landed in Brazil, the local team handled operations on the ground and checked the containers, ensuring standard operating procedure compliance.

Thanks to excellent communication, organization and professionalism between all parties involved, the swift delivery of much-needed medicine to Brazil was orchestrated successfully.

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