A first for the Port of Antwerp: GDP guidelines for the distribution of pharmaceutical products

A first for the Port of Antwerp: GDP guidelines for the distribution of pharmaceutical products

Life sciences and Healthcare products require specific handling during distribution, which is laid down in the GDP (Good Distribution Practice) guidelines. Port of Antwerp has translated this for a maritime setting, making it the first port in the world to operate under the standard of the European GDP rules throughout the logistics chain.

First seaport in the world with GDP guidelines

Belgium is an important hub for the Life sciences & Healthcare sector, and many multinationals have their offices here. 1 in 6 medicines exported from Europe set off from Belgium, and half of these medicines are produced here. GDP is a quality assurance system, meaning that the product quality of Life sciences & Healthcare products such as medicines, blood plasma, vaccines and medical equipment is guaranteed throughout the distribution process. And although this sector is primarily associated with air freight, there is an increasing demand for shipping by reefer container.

With 63,000 m² of warehouses that comply with the GDP guidelines, 8,000 plugs for reefer containers and a worldwide connectivity with more than 1000 destinations, the Port of Antwerp can play an important role in this respect. That is why Port of Antwerp has drawn up GDP guidelines for the deep sea freight and port logistics of these temperature-sensitive products. This means that the port is the first seaport in the world that can operate under European GDP rules, in all links of the logistics chain, including container terminals.

Find out more in our webinar on 17 November.

Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp: "Distributing billions of vaccines poses an unprecedented logistical challenge and will push the boundaries of logistics chains. As the Port of Antwerp, we are already currently working with a number of partners within the World Economic Forum to find solutions to the various problems thrown up by this huge logistics operation. Not least to reach the people in less developed countries and ensure they have access to the vaccine".
Annick De Ridder, port alderwoman: "These GDP guidelines make reefer container transport a genuine alternative to air freight. Thanks to the strategic location of our port, the more than 1,000 permanent connections, our reefer container capacity and the expertise and know-how within our port, we can be part of the solution. We are proud to be the first port in the world to play a pioneering role in this regard, while being socially responsible. Thank you to all partners for making this possible".
Andy Faes, Regional Manager Healthcare Vertical Europe, Expeditors: "With this initiative that was launched more than 2 years ago, the Port of Antwerp aims to ensure that there is standardisation in terms of GDP regulations at port level. This is unprecedented at the global level and will benefit the patients at the end of the logistics chain".

 

 

About Port of Antwerp

As Europe's second-largest port, the Port of Antwerp is a major lifeline for the Belgian economy: more than 300 line services to over 800 destinations ensure global connectivity. The Port of Antwerp annually handles around 238 million tonnes of international maritime freight, and is home to Europe's largest integrated chemical cluster. The Port of Antwerp accounts, directly and indirectly, for a total of around 143.000 jobs and more than €20 billion added value.  

True to its mission 'a home port vital for a sustainable future’, Antwerp Port Authority aims to flexibly respond to a rapidly evolving maritime market, allowing the port to continue playing its role as a leading world port. The emphasis in this respect is on cooperation, adaptability, a strong focus on innovation and digitisation, and on sustainable added value, as well as on responsibility towards society. 

Antwerp Port Authority is a limited liability company of public law, with the City of Antwerp as sole shareholder. It employs over 1.600 people. Port alderman Annick De Ridder is chairman of the Board of Directors and Jacques Vandermeiren is CEO and President of the Executive Committee, which is responsible for the day-to-day management. www.portofantwerp.com  

The telephone number +32 492 15 41 39 is only for press inquiries. For other questions you can mail to communicatie@portofantwerp.com

Port of Antwerp
Havenhuis
Zaha Hadidplein 1
2030 Antwerp
Belgium