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Belgium : a pharma logistics gateway

Over the years, Belgium has developed specialized expertise in the transport of pharmaceutical products, thanks to state-of-the-art infrastructure for temperature sensitive goods, unique know-how, skills and workforce productivity. This commitment to excellence and innovation has made Belgium a global leader for pharmaceutical logistics operations.

In its latest report The Importance of US Companies in Belgium: Logistics AmCham Belgium looked into the logistics sector which, while often overlooked, is essential to the functioning of the modern, globalized economy. Although Belgium is a leading handler of both containers and breakbulk, the country distinguishes itself from competitors with its expertise in logistics for specific industries, such as pharmaceuticals.

The pharmaceutical sector is strongly anchored in Belgium. Within an interlinked supply chain, different companies collaborate to ensure the products get to the patient as soon as possible. This is a complex process, which requires an efficient logistics system. Companies such as Pfizer drive their global logistics operations through Belgium, working with logistics partners like Brussels Airport.

Pfizer’s Logistics Center in Zaventem is critical in managing several steps in the process of developing, manufacturing and delivering pharmaceutical products, handling more than 60% of the company’s worldwide product flow. The logistics operations range from the delivery of raw materials and active pharmaceutical ingredients to the shipping of finished medicines.

Kim Sandell, Managing Director at the Pfizer Logistics Center in Zaventem, explains why Pfizer chose to locate its Logistics Center in Belgium: “Belgium’s greatest strengths are its skilled workforce, central location and dense transport network, via air, sea and road. There is a lot of expertise in the supply chain and logistics in this country, both in our organization and at our partners, like Brussels Airport and the Port of Antwerp. It is an interplay between all those different elements that establishes Belgium as a successful a logistics hub."

Brussels Airport is a good example of collaboration between the pharmaceutical sector and the logistics sector. The BRUcargo logistics platform is specialized in the handling of time and temperature sensitive goods. Thanks to the Airside Pharma Transporter, a transport trailer pre-conditioned at the correct temperature, pharmaceutical shipments can be moved between warehouses and aircrafts within the correct temperature limits and at affordable cost. Furthermore, Brussels Airport co-created the global air cargo pharma handling standards and certification program (IATA CEIV Pharma) and was the first airport community in the world to launch the certification for its cargo community.

Belgium holds a prime position as a pharma gateway to Europe and the world thanks to the dedication to innovation and the highest quality standards of its airports, seaports and road transport. In that fruitful, rich environment, pharmaceutical companies continue to say #Yes2Belgium.      

Download The Importance of US Companies in Belgium: Logistics from our website