Two major players in international cargo logistics—UPS and Emirates SkyCargo—have announced enhancements to their existing services for the benefit of life sciences and other cargo customers. The announcements are a testament to the vitality (and competitiveness) of healthcare products logistics, which usually commands a premium level of service.
UPS is expanding its Express Critical service, currently available in the US, to Europe. Express Critical options include “air, charter, surface and personal courier (who can hand-carry the shipment)” all on a time-sensitive basis, according to the company. Capabilities include door-to-door service for nearly any size shipment; end-of-runway intercept service; specialized vehicles for ground transportation; and increased security and insurance services through UPS Capital. The UPS Healthcare component of the company operates 60+ healthcare-dedicated facilities and 7 million sq. ft. of cGMP- or cGDP-compliant healthcare distribution space. Late last year, it expanded its clinical-trial logistics services with the acquisition of Marken.
With Emirates SkyCargo, the air carrier is now providing dedicated pallet-size shipping using the passive (non-powered) unit-load devices of va-Q-tec, whose va-Q-tainers are available in six temperature ranges from -70°C to +25°C in extreme ambient conditions, and in five sizes up to a maximum of two US pallets. A second option is the temperature-controlled containers of SkyCell, for 2-8°C or 15-25°C. These are in addition to an existing partnership with Envirotainer, which offers active (powered) containers. Emirates SkyCargo initiated its SkyPharma service, centered on a state-of-the-art hub facility at Dubai International Airport in 2016 (as well as an ancillary facility at Dubai World Central terminal), with operations to 155 destinations globally.