Collaboration in the Cool Chain:
With Paul Crombach, Program Manager Cool Chain, AFKLMP Cargo
As the air freight process continues to evolve and embrace new digital processes, the case for incorporating more collaboration along the supply chain grows stronger.
According to Paul Crombach, Program Manager Cool Chain, AFKLMP Cargo, one of the biggest challenges currently impacting the pharma air freight process is coordinating the growing number of companies, countries, and partners that are involved in the chain.
However, Crombach also views this as an opportunity through the possibility to introduce more collaboration and transparency into the cool chain to maintain the high-standards that are required to transport delicate freight, such as pharma.
“Further cooperation with partners across the chain is a huge opportunity right now,” said Crombach.
“For instance, many of our customers install temperature trackers in their shipments to monitor the actual temperature throughout the duration of the shipment, but we can only monitor the exterior temperatures.
“Closer cooperation and an exchange of data could drastically improve this, and if we could combine our temperature data, it would allow us all to identify weak spots in the processes that we are currently unable to measure.”
To instigate more cooperation and an exchange of data, AFKLMP Cargo recently launched a new programme to further improve their facilities and processes, with the hope it will lead to increased collaboration with partners in the future.
“One way we could help each other by collaborating is by ensuring that all of the relevant information regarding a shipment is as accurate and timely as possible,” he said.
“Too often, we only discover something has changed when the shipment has already arrived, leading to unnecessary repair processes and poor-quality service for the customer, but if the entire chain was informed about the changes in advance, then the processes could be adjusted to accommodate it.”
In addition to the existing CEIV (Center of Excellence for Independent Validators) certification, Crombach believes a standardised approach for handling pharma products could also benefit the cool chain, but it would require individual companies to look past their own processes to work together with others.
“If we could jointly agree on a set of standards and ensure that all the partners in the chain could maintain those standards, then we could make a big difference in the industry,” he added.
“Closer cooperation can be facilitated by companies working together in a platform, like PGA, and that is what we are striving to achieve.”