Turkish Cargo Pushes the Envelope with Pharma Transportation & Extensive Growth


Pharmaceutical transportation requires an extra level of care and takes some special know-how to ensure products make it to their destination in a timely mannerwithout being damaged. Turkish Cargo, a brand with a high level of expertise in this field and who are certified by global aviation authorities, are helping to keep the world healthy by carrying pharmaceuticals between key destinations. By successfully creating a “pharma corridor” between over 400 termini, Turkish Cargo now carry pharmaceuticals to important and certified destinations such as Mumbai, Brussels, Istanbul, Singapore, Dubai, Basel, London, and Amsterdam.

Arguably, transporting pharma payloads is more important than manufacturing them, as it enables these lifesaving medications to make it to where they are needed most. In many cases, pharmaceuticals are delicate and sensitive to temperature fluctuations, not to mention the fact they can also be expensive. As such, they require special precautions. Turkish Cargo understands that from the factory to the point of delivery, a pharma product’s integrity and quality must be maintained. They also know when carrying these cargos, time is of the essence.

The Cold Chain

Cold supply chain logistics refers to all aspects of the supply chain including transportation, storing, and distributing refrigerated and frozen goods. There are several steps in the cold chain logistics process, and there are two methods of cold chain transportation; active and passive. Active cold chain means havingbuilt-in cooling units designed to keep the entire cargo area at a constant temperature. Passive cold chain refers to polystyrene packaging with ice or dry ice to keep the products cold. However, the latter presents a problem with temperature-sensitive products like pharmaceuticals, as it could allow the products to get too hot, too cold, or even to freeze, thus damaging them during transport.

Turkish Cargo knows that when it comes to moving pharmaceuticals, temperature control is the top priority. A slight change in temperature, even of just 2 degrees, can ruin pharma products. They recognize temperature regulation is crucial and it is imperative that the cold chain is never broken. 

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Speaking on behalf of Turkish Cargo’s operations, Mr. Turhan Özen, Turkish Airlines Chief Cargo Officersaid, “While maintaining our successful Dual Hub operations, we carry out the land transports between two airports by using active temperature-controlled vehicles that hold all the necessary international certificates to preserve the cold chain integrity.Furthermore, the natural hub Istanbul, which is at the center of gravity of the air cargo trade, provides the appropriate climate conditions for the time and temperature-sensitive cargo transportation throughout the year.”

The cold chain is big business. According to information from Pharmaceutical Commerce, cold chain logistics for pharmaceuticals is a $12.6 billion worldwide industry. Cold chain logistics for pharmaceuticals has an 8-9 percent per year growth rate. This lucrative market is attractive to logistics service providers, but temperature-sensitive pharma products like plasma, narcotics, and other perishables require special handling and care, and therefore certifications by governing authorities must be obtained.

Certified by Global Air Cargo Authorities

The pharmaceutical industry works under tight regulations, as does the air cargo industry. Turkish Cargo knows the rules for transporting pharmaceuticals and comprehends how to get it right each time. Mr. Özen spoke of the company’s recent achievements with regards to their accreditations; “The pharmaceutical transportation we carry out from Atatürk and Istanbul Airports is certified by global air cargo authorities and thus holds the IATA CEIV certificate within cold chain integrity regulations.”

Operating in 15 stations that hold the IATA CEIV (Center of Excellence for Independent Validators) certificate, Turkish Cargo has also completed the IATA CEIV Pharma certificate renewal process for Atatürk Airport and is qualified for the same certificate for Istanbul Airport (IST) as well. The global air cargo brand, which serves in 14 stations that hold the EU’s Good Distribution Practice certificate, also carries out its pharmaceutical transport operations in 40 stations that hold a QEP (Qualified Envirotainer Provider) certificate and ensures active temperature control between destinations that are thousands of kilometers away from each other.

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Maintaining its operations in compliance with the global air cargo standards in 126 countries around the world, Turkish Cargo offers active solutions for medicine consignments through its storage areas within the temperature range of -20/+25° C that meets high-quality standards along with temperature-controlled wide-body and cargo aircraft.

Further Achievements 

In addition to the successful certifications, Turkish Cargo has also been awarded the “GROUP A TAPA (Transported Asset Protection Association) FSR” certificate, which was originally founded to reduce loss in the international supply chain. TÜV Rheinland, providing independent audit services in terms of quality and security has issued this certificate for Turkish Cargo’s cargo facilities at Istanbul and Atatürk Airports.

Considered very important by numerous international companies, the GROUP A TAPA FSR certificate has been accepted by global producers, logistics service providers, transporters, law enforcement bodies, and other shareholders worldwide. Having more than 650 members, TAPA includes the world’s leading producers, logistics service providers, and transporters.

Turkish Cargo Keeps Growing

Presently, Turkish Cargo are the fastest growing air cargo brand thanks to their worldwide flight network.The thriving company keeps raising their success bar by combining its broad range of services and operational capabilities with Turkey’s unique geographical advantages. According to the international air cargo information provider WACD’s recent data, Turkish Cargo has grown significantly by achieving a tonnage increase of 7.1 percent in a sector wherein the global air cargo market shrank by -4.4 percent. (December -cumulative)

“Together with our flag-carrier master brand Turkish Airlines, we aim to become one of the top three air bridges of the world.”

On the basis of the tonnage sold, the successful air cargo brand has grown by 17.1 percent in North and South America, 14.1 percent in the Far East Region, 9.7 percent in South Western Europe, 4.7 percent in the Middle East and South Asia, and 7.1 percent in Africa, thus achieving positive results in all regions wherein it provides air cargo service, and kept growing steadily in these regions.   

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Global Presence 

The global air cargo brand recently participated in Logitrans, Turkey’s most extensive international transportation and logistics fair, for the 11th time. The carrier had on display a 155m2 wide stand area in the fair organized in CNR EXPO Istanbul Fair Center on November 13-15. Turkish Cargo met business partners and event participants during this time.

The Logitrans fair hosted approximately 150 firms composed of the representatives of cargo agencies, automotive producers, air cargo firms, airport and harbor authorities, IT service providers, customs authorities, logistical associations, logistical schools, the representatives of international logistical publications, and over 15 thousand visitors.

Turkish Cargo, within the scope of Atlas Logistics Awards, organized for the 10th time this year; was awarded the first prize in the “International Air Carrier” category and the Jury Special Award for ‘Dual Air Cargo Hub Solution’ and ‘Mission Rescue’ projects. Participating in international fairs regularly,the company aims to broaden their horizons by seeking out new customers. Turkish Cargo now provides air cargo service in over 300 destinations, and while growing steadily, they aim to be one of the top five air cargo brands of the world in 2023. 

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Devender was born in the year when the Beatles Group was formed. He holds two master’s degrees in English Literature and Public Administration. He also has an Honors degree in English Literature and a post-graduate diploma in Corporate Communications and Public Relations. He was closely associated with the Indian State Transport Undertakings and Ministry of Transport in his role as Corporate Communications and PR specialist for over two decades handling domestic and international organizations. He ventured into business forming his own Media House, Profiles Media Network Private Limited which is now a twenty years old company. Excelling as an editor, Marketing, PR, Anchor, and Advertising specialist, he is now expertly navigating the world of social media. A widely traveled professional internationally, Devender has a deep understanding of the Air Cargo, Cargo Business, Cargo Airports, Freighters and Cargo Industry at large.