Changi Airport Group strengthens pharmaceutical supply chain in Singapore

Changi Airport is the first airport in Asia to join Pharma.Aero as a strategic member.

Changi Airport

Changi Airport is the first airport in Asia to join Pharma.Aero as a strategic member, together with partner Singapore Airlines Cargo who comes on board as a full member. Both parties envisage that this effort will raise pharmaceutical handling capabilities at Changi Airport.   An organization comprising stakeholders of air cargo supply chain from around the world, Pharma.Aero is dedicated to achieving excellence in end-to-end air transportation for pharma cargo.




Pharmaceutical cargo is among the fastest growing segments at Changi Airport, growing 19 percent year-on-year for the first nine months of 2016, and registering a five-year compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 percent from 2010 to 2015.


The South West Pacific and North East Asia regions account for 45 percent of total share of pharmaceutical cargo at Changi Airport. In terms of volume, Australia, China and India are Changi’s top three pharmaceutical markets on a year-to-date (January to September 2016) basis. The top markets showing strongest growth for the period are China (+51 percent), Vietnam (+35 percent) and Hong Kong (+32 percent).


Pharmaceutical products that pass through Changi Airport include vaccines, tablets and pills. These products are highly sensitive to fluctuations in temperature. Pharmaceutical cargo is the sixth most valued segment in terms of total air cargo handled, and account for under 10 percent of total value of cargo handled.


Changi Airport is well-equipped with specialized facilities to be the preferred gateway of pharma cargo in Asia, with the two ground handlers (Coolport by SATS and Coolchain by Dnata) having the ability to handle more than 300,000 tonnes of temperature sensitive cargo annually. Our excellent connectivity (6,800 flights to 330 cities served by over 100 airlines) and strong mix of freighter and bellyhold capacity provides ample options for pharma shippers to access the global economy.


Changi Airport is the first airport in Asia to embark on a community approach for the IATA CEIV Pharma certification, thereby raising the local community’s handling standards and capability for temperature-sensitive pharma cargo. The pioneer group of companies in the Changi CEIV Community consists of Singapore Airlines Cargo, dnata Singapore, Global Airfreight International Expeditors Singapore, CEVA Logistics Singapore, and Schenker Singapore.


SATS Coolport, a major cargo player at Changi Airport, was the first facility in the world to attain the IATA CEIV Pharma certification in 2014.


Global spending on pharma cold chain logistics is projected to grow at eight-nine percent per year, totaling US$16.7 billion by 2020 according to Pharmaceutical Commerce. Asia is expected to account for the largest regional share growth with more than $1.2 billion of cold-chain growth through 2019.