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Separate bedrooms

News   •  Nov 30, 2016 09:45 CET

At Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, Panalpina now operates two facilities, separated by runway Kaagbaan 06/24. One is dedicated exclusively to healthcare products, the other to perishables and general cargo.

It's a bit like having two bedrooms in a marriage, separated by a long corridor with lots of shiny lights on the sides to show the way. An odd idea, you may say, but it can actually make perfect sense (and save marriages).

So why have two facilities on opposite sides of the runway? Did someone not get along?

"Not at all!" says Robert Knoppert with a smile. He manages the brand-new healthcare facility with a team of ten GDP-qualified people. "At Panalpina in Amsterdam we are one big family, and we get along very well, but some of the products we handle in transit may not." Robert explains: “Medicinal products need to be stored securely apart from other goods and under the conditions specified by the manufacturer in order to avoid any deterioration by light, moisture or temperature. Hygiene is another crucial factor, which is why you typically cannot store medicinal products for human use close to perishables.”

And while both the pharmaceutical and perishables industries operate at a high level of quality assurance including seamless temperature control throughout the entire supply chain, perishables have some very specific needs, too. Lodewijk van de Vosse, who runs the facility for perishables with a dedicated team of six people, explains: "By their very nature, perishables are complicated products and also have special requirements in terms of transportation, handling, customs duties, taxes and health regulations.” The primary focus of Panalpina’s perishables experts is on preserving the freshness of the products, and the new upgraded perishables facility with its purpose-built cold storage cells helps greatly in this respect. “Everything from handling to customs clearance can now be done under one roof, reducing transit time and securing the cold chain,” says Lodewijk.

In other words, the common need to meet very strict yet industry-specific quality requirements made Panalpina operate two separate facilities for healthcare products and perishables in Amsterdam. As volumes in both segments continue to grow steadily, the separation has turned out to be a smart move.

There is something else that the two facilities have in common: independent direct airside access. In the world of cargo, that's like having a bedroom suite directly on the beach.

Key features of Panalpina’s two facilities at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

Panalpina at Amsterdam Schiphol Healthcare facility (new) Perishables facility (upgraded)
Location North of runway Kaagbaan 06/24 (Vrachtstation 6e) South of runway Kaagbaan 06/24 (Vrachtstation 18)
Officially in use since May 1, 2016 September 1, 2016
Certifications / licenses GDP* certified by Dutch Ministry of Health (wholesaler’s license); highest airport security level Licensed inspection point for quality, phytosanitary and food safety controls (PD, KCB, nVWA**)
Dedicated staff 11 7
Direct airside access Yes, to all airlines Yes, to all airlines
Typical transit time between aircraft / facility 10 to 35 minutes 10 to 35 minutes
Surface currently in use 2,000 m2 in total 1,000 m2 in total
15°C to 25°C (Controlled Room Temperature) 1,850 m2 /
2°C to 8°C 150 m2 450 m2: 3 cold rooms of 150 m2; one room usually set at 2°C, one at 8°C, and the third room at another, specifically required temperature
Pallet positions (Euro pallets) 1,500 450
24/7 ambient temperature monitoring / logging Yes (Dyzle; SmartView to be added) Yes
24/7 security monitoring with CCTV Yes Yes
Other services offered Passive and active cooling of cargo; temperature monitoring on shipment level; FCL reefer stuffing (ocean freight); cross-docking Tarp cooling: reconditioning of up to 24 skids in 120 minutes; temperature monitoring on shipment level; cross-docking
Truck docks (landside) 6 15 (+ 2 overhead doors)

*Good Distribution Practice; EU guidelines of 5 November 2013 on Good Distribution Practice of medicinal products for human use (2013/C 343/01) apply

** Licensing bodies: PD (Netherlands Plant Protection Service), KCB (Quality Control Bureau), NVWA (Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority)

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