Temperatuz interview va-Q-tec
1. va-Q-tec has been globally active for many years and I understand there is a high focus on South of Europe, especially Italy, what is the current fundamental story - colleagues within the pharmaceutical logistics sector ought to be aware of in relation VA-Q-Tec’s intention for this market?
The Italian pharmaceutical industry is the second largest in Europe for production volume (both in absolute and per capita terms), and the first in the world for exports. As a robust, high- performing, cost-efficient and low risk container rental solution supported by a global network, va-Q-tec has been providing services for local operations of global customers in the region since 2016. To support the further growth of the pharmaceutical market, we invested in 2 network stations (MXP and FCO) and sales representation.
2. va-Q-tec was recommended in a recent survey to Business Dialogue as highly quality solution provider of containers for the pharmaceutical logistics sector - to what extent would you suggest va-Q-tec’s solutions and services can directly assist end to end pharmaceutical shippers?
va-Q-tec is a partner for the whole lifecycle of pharmaceutical products. Our high performance thermal packaging can be used in all phases, from clinical trial to last mile transports. We help solving challenges like new laws and regulations such as GDP (Good Distribution Practice), varying transport times, extreme ambient temperatures and strictly defined product temperatures during storage and transport. Our customers can chose between single- and multi-use options and different sizes from 4 litres to 2 Euro/US pallets at 6 different temperature ranges.
3. How would you describe va-Q-tec’s commitment to customer experience and meeting customer objectives when managing specific pharmaceutical logistical objectives?
We see ourselves as comprehensive business partner with a broad product range and innovative services to service customer needs and expectations. Our commitment to customers includes the customization of products to individual needs, purchase and rental options, a broad network of partners and even the set-up of new fulfillment centres for larger fleets. va-Q-tec was first-to-market providing an advanced passive, reusable rental fleet of air freight containers for the life sciences industry in a global network. va-Q-tec is also a pioneer in launching small box rental and fulfillment solutions for international and domestic distribution.
5. In relation to va-Q-tec’s focus on container solutions, can you list the top 4 points attracting pharmaceutical shippers, and what are the key points both new and existing customers ought to be aware of for the next 2 years?
va-Q-tec’s thermal packaging offers high performance, patented quality control, cost and energy efficiency and a great modularity. Our top priority is to effectively protect our customers' products while minimising costs in the supply chain. Reliable solutions from va-Q-tec ensure that the cold chain is preserved during every day handling, without the need of external energy sources or dry ice. In the next years we will continue to increase the availability of our products on a global level through network stations and partners. Product development will help our customers to further penetrate markets and increase efficiency of their supply chain.
7. The Rome Airport has been a fundamental port and gateway in Europe for pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical logistics, and many are aware of va-Q-tec’s presence within this airport; perhaps you can also inform us which other (Air) ports in Europe and especially in South of Europe can shippers access va-Q-tec’s range of containers?
Our unique and ever-growing global network of service stations is unmatched in size and service quality, also covering countries in Southern Europe such as Italy, France, Spain, Croatia and Slovenia. We invest heavily in our partnerships with airlines, freight forwarders, integrators and logistics providers to offer our reliable temperature-controlled logistics services worldwide. In Italy we have our own network stations in Rome Fiumicino and Milan Malpensa, and additional partner airlines in Naples, Florence, Bologna, Venice, Verona and Milan Linate.
9. Finally, what changes have you noticed within the past three years within the pharmaceutical logistics sector, and where do you feel the overall trend is moving to? Is it compliance, costs, risk based approach, data analytics, quality or technologies among others?
Tighter regulations such as Good Distribution Practice, longer transport times, extreme external temperatures, new markets and the increasing temperature sensitivity of products present great challenges to the pharmaceutical industry. These market developments have for some years already been leading to a vastly increasing demand for reliable packaging solutions for temperature sensitive products. Passive packaging solutions on the basis of vacuum insulation panels and PCM have gained acceptance, both in comparison with small transport boxes composed of conventional insulation materials as well as with actively cooled transport containers. This in combination with the ever demanding need to decrease the end to end supply chain costs, creates a fertile basis for our solutions.
4. va-Q-tec has been described as a high technology company with a rather humble start progressing to where it is today – what is va-Q-tec’s current position within the pharmaceutical time & temperature logistics segment in comparison to its early start?
From the start, va-Q-tec has been pioneering the revolutionary development and application of energy-saving and highly efficient vacuum insulation panels (VIPs). Other products such as high-performance thermal packaging and airfreight containers as well as special heat and cool storage elements (PCM) followed. Today we apply our award-winning technology in various target markets like pharmaceuticals, logistics, household appliances, buildings, technology & industry and automobile. Our high performance quality and customer focus is the foundation for the organic growth of the company.
6. Given va-Q-tec’s focus on creating a sense of differentiation, how would you describe your approach to compliance with global regulatory requirements such as the European Good Distribution Practice guidelines - among others?
Our company claim is “va-Q-tec – Always the right temperature” and the “Q” in our name stands for quality. Our products ensure to maintain the cold chain and to comply with guidelines such as GDP. Over one million deviation free transports have proven the thermal performance of our passive thermal packaging. Transport solutions from va-Q-tec contain vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) and heat and cold storage elements (phase-change materials – PCM). This combination allows our products to achieve up to ten times the performance of conventional packaging. Our own, patented quality control system is another proof of our commitment to reliability.
8. Temperatuz is now the most important for End to End Pharma GDP Logistics conference in South of Europe with complete presence from the entire community involved, as you are show casing your containers at the conference what can delegates expect from va-Q-tec and your colleagues on site?
The va-Q-tec team will present thermal container and boxes that are ideally suited for the deviation free transport of temperature-sensitive products. All products guarantee compliance with the cold chain and provide long-lasting performance. Our expert team will also gladly inform about both purchase and rental options.
Vanessa Alonso Burri
Regional Sales Manager, Southern Europe