SAN JUAN, PR: Panalpina has begun a weekly service from San Juan, Puerto Rico (PR) to Luxembourg in conjunction with Cargolux.
The new service is designed to meet the needs of major pharma manufacturers with production facilities in Puerto Rico.
Panalpina says freighters are a manufacturer's preferred choice for moving pharmaceuticals because it is easier to control the temperature and bigger lots can be moved as a single shipment.
Until July this year, Puerto Rico pharma exporters had the option of using passenger aircraft out of San Juan or freighters out of Aguadilla, 80 miles (130 km) away. "Now our healthcare customers can put their temperature-sensitive goods on a cargo-only aircraft right on their doorstep. Not only do we cut out an 80 mile road leg of the journey, we also ensure the best possible control on the ground and in the air from door-to-door," said Matthias Frey, global head of Panalpina's own controlled air freight network.
Panalpina says its pharma traffic out of PR helps underwrite a new Cargolux "Caribbean Star" 747 freighter service that originates in Quito, Ecuador and routes via Bogota, Colombia and San Juan to Luxembourg.
For its expanding pharma exports, the company operates "the coolest place in the Caribbean" - a 37,500 sq. ft. (3,500 m2) facility two miles from San Juan airport to handle high-value, hazardous and temperature-sensitive goods.
"The temperature-sensitive cargo out of San Juan is currently moved in special containers that provide active cooling. But our controlled environment from door-to-door also enables us to transport goods using passive cooling, which could reduce cost and present another option for our customers. So we're running tests and are in the process of auditing our passive cooling solution out of San Juan as well," said Ricardo Ortiz who runs Panalpina's operations in Puerto Rico.