American Airlines Cargo changes view on transporting medical treatments

BONN/DFW: July 10, 2019. A report by DHL Global Forwarding and American Airlines Cargo on the future of medical logistics in Latin America has determined four solutions to support the growth of targeted medicine services.

“With personalised medicine, companies will need to deliver solutions directly to people rather than to institutions, which will change how we view—and transport—medical treatments,” said Patricia Cole, DHL Global Forwarding managing director Same Day & LifeConEx.

The two companies say supporting the delivery of personalised medicine will require data analytics for Cold Chain intelligence; technology innovations; treatment-based logistics and distribution programmes; and increased collaboration between forwarders and carriers.

“This shift will present a huge challenge to the already complex logistics involved in delivering pharmaceutical solutions, many of which have very strict—and varied—temperature and timing requirements to remain effective,” continued Cole. “We believe the success of personalized medicine will rely on how well the logistics industry responds to the operational issues involved.”

Targeted medicine is considered an extension of traditional approaches to treating disease with physicians able to pinpoint a patient’s molecular profile and suggest the right therapy. Factors such as gender, weight, and DNA are all considered to tailor treatments according to each person’s needs. However, this makes it impractical to ship large pallets to set locations.

AA Cargo, with its extensive air services network throughout Latin America, is also faced with the additional challenge of no regional standards for medical shipments, so each logistics provider must work to meet each country’s regulations such as sterilization labeling, transportation modes in varied terrains, accessibility to well-equipped facilities and qualified doctors.

“As an industry, we must invest in new technology and next-gen solutions, including intelligent IT networks, big data analytics and AI, but also in our people and processes to ensure we can deliver what our customers need more effectively, efficiently and precisely,” commented Roger Samways, vice president Sales for American Airlines Cargo. “By working hand in hand with medical professionals, corporations and governments, logistics and supply chain professionals can begin to solve the personalised medicine puzzle that is coming.”