New air freight service for temperature-sensitive life sciences products launched by DHL

DHL Global Forwarding, a subsidiary of global express delivery and logistics services provider DHL, recently announced it has launched a temperature-controlled air freight service going to and from Brussels and Cincinnati.

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DHL Global Forwarding, a subsidiary of global express delivery and logistics services provider DHL, recently announced it has launched a temperature-controlled air freight service going to and from Brussels and Cincinnati.

Company officials said the DHL Aviation Boeing 747-100 freighter aircraft will fly at the 8:30 hour six times a week in each direction and offer reserved space for Life Sciences products, with real-time tracking and temperature measurement data available on each flight that be accessed online. 

“DHL Global Forwarding was driven to launch this air freight service between Brussels and Cincinnati due to customer demand for a more controlled air freight offering,” said Thomas Kuhles, Vice President of Air Freight, DHL Global Forwarding U.S., in an interview. “Providing enhanced temperature management is driven in great part by new regulations, in particular the updated Good Distribution Practice (GDP) guidelines released by the European Commission last year. The planning of the service took approximately one year. At DHL Global Forwarding we have adopted a sector and trade lane approach. Our sector approach gives us a broader understanding of our customer’s regulatory requirements and, subsequently, the ability to ensure compliance through efficient, effective processes.”

Some of the major benefits of this new DHL Global Forwarding temperature controlled air freight service cited by Kuhles, include: the flights are operated by DHL aircraft, giving it full control of the handling processes from warehouse through loading of the aircraft, as it is all performed by DHL staff – no third parties; and it also provides a clear understanding that the temperature within the aircraft, along with streamlined handling, may allow shippers to reduce the thermal packaging required.

“We are also able to leverage the DHL THERMONET product that provides visibility in the temperature controlled shipping arena by integrating proactive monitoring and intervention 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” he said. “The service is Good Distribution Practice (GDP) aligned for handling processes. Real-time tracking and monitoring with GPS/GPRS technology is available for supervising positioning, temperature and humidity. At DHL Global Forwarding we are always working to carefully listen to the voice of our customers through ongoing contact and collaboration. As a result we have developed this route for our pharmaceutical customers.”

DHL has been offering temperature controlled services globally for many years, and previously, DHL utilized the capacities of commercial carriers offering temperature controlled services for life sciences. 

What makes this service new, explained Kuhles, is that it is a service offered on DHL’s own aircraft.

“Existing flights between Brussels and Cincinnati and return have been upgraded significantly, based on the high demand of the pharmaceutical industry on this route,” he said. “We have upgraded to a Boeing 747 freighter (from a Boeing 767 freighter), offering approximately 55 tons net actual weight per flight. Additionally, we are now offering two additional flights per week with the capability to provide customers with real time tracking and temperature monitoring via GPS/GPRS technologies. We have made this decision to launch this service based on long-term growth and sustainability. DHL Global Forwarding is recognized as an industry leader and looks to continue that leadership role in the future.”


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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