Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Airways, has agreed a landmark partnership with Validaide, the largest global platform for special handling capabilities of logistics suppliers, to co-manage and co-share station facilities for pharmaceuticals and other special cargo with global customers.

The Premium Membership partnership, which sees Etihad Cargo join Validaide’s Advisory Board, extends the carrier’s digital reach to more than 500 logistics providers. Customers will be able to define, share and search special cargo handling capabilities, with Validaide serving as the central platform to leverage Etihad Cargo’s full network management power across 70 labelled network stations.

“In this constantly changing environment, the logistics industry needs to understand where capabilities lie and what constraints exist. Through Validaide, Etihad Cargo will provide their customers with additional transparency on their station capabilities, including new SOP and Lane Risk Assessment features, while reducing the time to collect and manage this information by 95 per cent,” said Martin Drew, Managing Director – Cargo and Logistics at Etihad Cargo.

“The move is decisive considering the anticipated distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Following the launch of Etihad Cargo’s specialised pharma and healthcare service, PharmaLife, which offers tailormade, sector-specific pharmaceutical shipment solutions, the Validaide partnership provides additional digital capabilities to global pharma customers. Etihad Cargo can now extend the use of Validaide in various business processes by integrating station capabilities data into the corporate website and booking system,” added Drew.

Natalie Niers, Head of Capabilities Platform at Validaide, added: “Having recently extended Validaide platform to include a Premium Membership for air carriers, aligning with a global carrier and digital transformation leader like Etihad Cargo will significantly enhance the platform’s possibilities to shape the future.”

Eelco de Jong, CEO at Validaide, added: “Transparency on transport and storage conditions is critical for distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, which require extensive industry collaboration and data sharing. Etihad Cargo’s addition to our Advisory Board extends our industry community model and will assist in defining a development roadmap to address global needs.”

In addition to pharmaceutical logistics through its IATA CEIV-certified PharmaLife product, Etihad Cargo will provide access to its full portfolio of dedicated solutions including IATA CEIV-certified FreshForward for perishables, LiveAnimals and SkyStables for the transportation of pets and horses, SafeGuard for valuable cargo, and Dangerous Goods.

Etihad Cargo and Validaide are both active members of Pharma.Aero, the cross-industry collaboration for pharmaceutical logistics, and both pursue digitalisation projects within the broader air cargo industry.