dnata ramps up to handle pharmaceuticals in Asia Pacific

Singapore, 1 September 2020 - As human trials of the COVD-19 vaccine are underway in various countries, air cargo will continue to play a critical role in delivering the vaccine globally when it is ready. Since the start of the pandemic, air cargo has transported millions of personal protective equipment (PPE), pharmaceuticals and perishables across the globe. It has become increasingly crucial for both airlines and freight forwarders to be supported by an accredited pharmaceutical ground handler like dnata to ensure the efficient handling of all types of life-saving vaccines coming through the air cargo supply chain.


dnata is one of the leading cargo handlers in Australia and Singapore that invested in processes and equipment to obtain certification from the industry’s top associations. dnata Australia is proud to be the only cargo handler in the country with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Good Distribution Practices (GDP) certification. dnata Singapore holds the IATA Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Pharma accreditation. This is in addition to ISO 9001:2015 certification for cargo handling services and Halal certification for a special holding room in its Coolchain facility.

The company’s operational processes for exporting and importing air cargo, including transitional warehousing, biosecurity, customs clearance and distribution of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and healthcare industry related materials, follow strict compliance and controlled guidelines.

Partnerships and Industry Memberships

dnata values the importance of partnerships and industry membership:

• dnata is a global member of Cargo IQ and the checkpoints provided is integrated with temperature visibility.

• dnata is a global member of Pharma.Aero, a cross-industry collaboration for Pharma Shippers, CEIV certified cargo communities, Airport Operators and other air cargo industry stakeholders. In Singapore and Australia, dnata is in the process of working with airline partners to implement global pharma tracking, in partnership with Pharma.Aero and Nallian, the world’s first provider of an open app ecosystem and data-sharing platform, to provide real-time end to end temperature visibility. The technology will enable all responsible parties in the value chain to view real-time non-conformances; therefore, any potential cool chain issue can be rectified before pharmaceutical and medical air cargo is compromised.

• dnata Singapore recently joined the Singapore Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (SAPI) to further align with the industry.

• dnata partnered with Unilode Aviation Solutions, the global leader in outsourced Unit Load Device (ULD) management, by installing blue tooth tracking technology on all ULD’s for real-time visibility across our stations in Singapore and Australia.

• dnata works with shippers, forwarders, and airlines to ensure the active use of Envirotainers (RAP’s & RKN’s) to build an effective cool chain solution from shipper to the receiver.

Cool Dollies

To ensure and prepare for the uncompromised integrity of pharmaceutical and perishables in the air cargo supply chain throughout end-to-end distribution, dnata has invested in the manufacturing of cool dollies in both Australia and Singapore. These new dollies, specially designed to serve the ever-growing pharmaceuticals industry, will make dnata the first handling company in both countries to offer a temperature-controlled solution for the transportation of temperature-sensitive goods between the dnata Coolchain Centre and an aircraft. The introduction of a cool dolly service later in the year will provide the peace of mind to pharmaceutical and medical manufacturers as well as health authorities that no other regional cargo handler can currently offer.

Cool Chain Facilities

dnata’s state-of-the-art cargo handling facilities across Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney already have temperature-controlled and monitored cold storage rooms for the handling of all medical air cargo, including vaccines. dnata fully integrates with the air cargo supply chain from shippers to consignees, government agencies to regulatory authorities as well as airlines and airports.

Dirk Goovaerts, Regional CEO Asia Pacific, dnata, said: “Our company strives to stay ahead of the curve by making investments that enable us to offer enhanced services to our customers. dnata is looking forward to being the first mover of a COVID-19 vaccine once it is available.”