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Introducing Cathay Pharma: 
a refreshed temperature-sensitive solution for a post-pandemic world

Introducing Cathay Pharma: a refreshed temperature-sensitive solution for a post-pandemic world

Cathay Pacific Cargo has taken recent innovations and staff expertise to enhance customer options for life-science shipments

Cathay Pacific Cargo is consolidating and refreshing its comprehensive solution for pharmaceutical customers under a new name, Cathay Pharma, and making it easier to identify all of the possible options for pharma shipments in a more streamlined way.

The refresh follows several busy years in which Cathay Pacific Cargo has brought its innovation and expertise to meet the evolving needs of the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. This has resulted in advances including Ultra Track, the Vaccine Solution and a revamped Priority solution.

Director Cargo Tom Owen said: “With these developments, we felt this was the ideal time to refresh our specialist shipment solution for our pharmaceutical customers. We understand all too well the potential costs in lives and dollars if pharmaceutical shipments don’t arrive in perfect condition, and want to ensure that we continuously improve and adapt to industry trends and developments as they happen.”

Greater choice and a market-leading offering

Cathay Pharma is subdivided under two simplified headings – Active and Passive. The Active solution uses ‘active’ containers with thermostatic mechanisms, while Passive uses passive coolants and insulation to maintain temperature. Bookings made under both Active and Passive include expedient ground handling and priority tarmac transfers, to limit the risk of temperature excursions while shipments are exposed to ambient outdoor temperatures.

Cathay Pharma offers four transportation temperature ranges to suit the most common types of pharma shipments, including ERT – extended room temperature: +2°C to +25°C – which is newly available in response to industry demand from customers. Cathay Pacific Cargo offers containers from seven supplier partners able to achieve specific temperatures in an operating range from as low as -80°C to +40°C. This has created the widest choice in Asia for pharma customers.

The signature track-and-trace service and en-route mitigation – Ultra Track and the Operations Control Centre (OCC)

Customers making a Cathay Pharma booking can follow their shipment’s progress and condition with visibility and 24/7 proactive mitigation from the OCC offered by the Ultra Track service using our Bluetooth data loggers, with the option of data integration via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) conforming to IATA’s ONE Record standards.

Expert facilities and people, and industry accreditation for greater reassurance

Every aspect of the shipment journey at our Hong Kong hub has been CEIV Pharma-certified across the airport community since 2017. The Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal has recently opened Hong Kong International Airport's largest dedicated pharmaceutical-handling centre, doubling the terminal’s temperature-controlled storage and further enhancing its pharmaceutical capability. The facility includes truck docks with inflatable insulation to maintain ambient temperatures during loading, moveable power points to recharge containers, and monitoring systems which enable real-time temperature and humidity management.

Across the network, Cathay Pacific Cargo has more than 70 qualified pharma centres. Only trained and qualified staff are allowed to handle Cathay Pharma shipments as an extra assurance for shipments.

Why Cathay Pharma?

“With our team of expert handlers and our technologically advanced offering, we are confident that Cathay Pharma is a comprehensive and best-in-class range of specialised and professional air cargo services for temperature-sensitive shipments including life-science deliveries,” Owen added. “It is designed to meet exacting customer needs and ensure that high-value and life-saving pharmaceutical shipments arrive in perfect condition.”


Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific is the home airline of Hong Kong, offering scheduled passenger and cargo services to destinations in Asia, North America, Australia, Europe and Africa. Cathay Pacific is one of the world’s biggest international air cargo carriers, operating a dedicated freighter fleet to 45 destinations. The airline’s cargo division, Cathay Pacific Cargo, operates a fleet of 14 Boeing 747-8F freighters and six 747-400ERFs (Extended Range Freighter). The Cathay Pacific Group also includes Air Hong Kong, an express all-cargo carrier offering scheduled and charter services in Asia. Cathay Pacific is a member of the Swire Group and is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Cathay Pacific is committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, including targeting 10% sustainable aviation fuel use for its flights by 2030. For more information, please visit

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