Air Cargo Europe: "Data seems to be the conversation of the day"

Mattias Isaksson Head of Marketing & Communications

In early June, the world’s largest air cargo exhibition took place in Munich, Germany – Air Cargo Europe. We have asked Don Harrison, Head of Global Key Accounts – Airlines at Envirotainer, about his impressions of the event and where pharma cold chain is heading.

What are your impressions of Air Cargo Europe?

For Envirotainer, Air Cargo Europe provides a great opportunity for us to network with our customers, build and maintain relationships and engage with industry leaders all in one place. It is one of the premier air cargo events globally that Envirotainer participates in and we are never disappointed with the level of interaction or the quality of the venue.

Did anything special happen during the fair that caught your attention?

For me, watching our team of experts in air cargo and pharma logistics share ideas with other thought leaders from the industry was so much fun. From those interactions you can really see that the consultative approach that Envirotainer takes towards helping to solve challenges facing pharma logistics. It really has impact. In the end, we will all be patients somehow, somewhere, and knowing that we have a small part to play in bettering people’s lives brings me great pride.

Did anything surprise you?

Very little surprises me anymore. I tend to take the attitude that anything is possible. When you do that it’s hard to be surprised. What did really make me happy was to see that in an environment of cost control and procurement exercises, in the end it’s really the relationship that allows us all to bridge that gap and bring solutions to the marketplace. We’ve got some of the best relationships in the market. Of that I am 100% confident.

Could you identify any new trends?

Data seems to be the conversation of the day, in many of our conversations with our freight forwarder and airline partners we discussed how data will impact our businesses going forward, how it can be used to optimize the pharma supply chain reducing cost, increasing efficiency and allowing us all to deliver products to patients faster and more securely. Data, IT functionality and use of AI are a huge focus for Envirotainer already here in 2019. We’ve introduced One Portal, our online ordering platform giving our customers full access to an entire suite of data sharing capabilities. Envirotainer is further expanding our Virtual and Augmented Reality platforms to improve the way we do training and introduce our products to the market. And finally, we introduced AI-leen to the world. Our first-generation AI who will help to answer our customers questions, and she is constantly learning how to do it better and better.

What are your thoughts and visions about the future? In what direction is pharma cold chain heading?

I spent the last week at a leading Global Life Sciences and Healthcare Conference. It was put on by one of the top suppliers of pharma logistics services to many of our largest global pharma customers. It was clear that targeted medicine and personalized medicine are literally right around the corner. We live in a world where a doctor can extract blood or parts of blood from a patient, manipulate that blood at the cellular level in a lab to fight a particular disease and then infuse that blood back into the patient so that the patient’s own body can fight off whatever disease is effecting them. It’s bioengineering on a next level. It’s also clear that speed to patient, security and efficacy will become more and more critical. These medicines that are being created, are in some cases as one of a kind, or to treat a very specific indication. The value of these drugs is near priceless so having the right solutions in the market to ensure our Logistics Service Partners are able to deliver with complete predictability will be paramount.