Etihad Airways
Representational Image Etihad official website

Etihad Cargo, an extension of Etihad Airways, marked 37% year-over-year growth in 2023 in dedicated cool chain products – PharmaLife and FreshForward.

This is the third consecutive year for Etihad Cargo when the company witnessed positive growth for both PharmaLife as well FreshForward.

Since last couple of years, Etihad Cargo has been adding various features to its cool chain product range including PharmaLife shipment of pharmaceuticals, healthcare and life sciences commodities while FreshForward for the shipment of perishable fresh produce, including fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat and flowers.

Acting Managing Director at Etihad Cargo Leonard Rodrigues said, "Etihad Cargo is fully aligned with Abu Dhabi's vision of becoming a global logistics, pharmaceuticals and perishables hub," WAM reported.

"The carrier's commitment to quality combined with continuous product and infrastructure enhancements has enabled Etihad Cargo to achieve significant growth and contribute to the creation of a more resilient and robust global cool chain," he added.

The expansion of Etihad Cargo's cool chain volumes was fueled by the inauguration of its specialized pharma hub. This facility, spanning 3,300 square meters, boasts cutting-edge technology such as Road Feeder Service (RFS) loading docks, enhanced insulation, and upgraded cool chain facilities. Since its launch in July 2023, the pharmaceutical center has seen a significant surge in volumes, with increases of 39%, 40%, and 41% in July, August, and September respectively.

Besides providing services within Abu Dhabi, Etihad Cargo's PharmaLife network is spread over 62 destinations around the world.

The international freight shipping company has developed over 1,330 IATA CEIV Pharma/ Good Distribution Practice (GDP)-certified trade lanes in order to take care of product integrity.

Since Pharma Corridor 2.0 was launched between Abu Dhabi and Brussels (the Capital of Belgium), Etihad Cargo has set the bar high with the quality of handling to pharmaceutical shippers and forwarders via pharma corridors between airports with cargo handling communities certified under the IATA CEIV Pharma program.

"The establishment of Pharma Corridor 2.0 and an expansive global PharmaLife network has enabled Etihad Cargo to bring much-needed transparency, traceability and trackability to the sector, benefiting not only customers but also the global pharma supply chain," Rodrigues said.

He pointed out that this unique collaboration allows "the carrier to offer complete transparency on the status of temperature-controlled pharmaceutical shipments, recording quality, time, temperature, potential deviations and actions."

Etihad Cargo has also overhauled its perishables handling and storage facility. The carrier operates a 3,000-square-metre dedicated perishables temperature-controlled warehouse for smoother transfers to its FreshForward truck fleet.

Rodrigues noted that Etihad Cargo is looking forward to exploring further opportunities to build more corridors between Abu Dhabi and other key markets.

"Leveraging the success of the Pharma Corridor, Etihad Cargo has launched Fresh Corridor 2.0 between Abu Dhabi and the Netherlands, resulting in a 42% increase in fresh volumes transported," he added.

Etihad Cargo recently announced enhanced cargo screening for US-bound shipments from selected stations including Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangkok, Jakarta, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Singapore.