United Airlines and DHL Global Forwarding, the air and ocean freight specialist within Deutsche Post DHL Group, announced Thursday several significant growth and expansion initiatives in Puerto Rico.
The companies are working together to continue developing Puerto Rico’s life sciences and pharmaceutical industries by increasing widebody flights, and offering customers expanded cold chain storage solutions with three new temperature-controlled chambers operating at 15 to 25° C (59 to 77° F) in San Juan.
Beginning Dec. 18, 2016, United will increase widebody service between San Juan’s Luis Munoz Marin Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport from one to six flights weekly. The route will operate with Boeing 777 aircraft offering customers 344 seats.
The additional United flights will also offer additional opportunities for tourism to Puerto Rico, further boosting the local economy, the company said.
“Building strong, collaborative relationships with United Cargo customers allows us to share innovative ideas and opportunities to ensure we meet the needs of the global health care community,” said Jim Bellinder, United Cargo’s vice president of Sales Americas.
“By expanding our TempControl service for temperature-sensitive patient care products into San Juan, United is improving the lives and health of people in Puerto Rico and around the world,” he said.
“For the last 25 years, United Airlines has been a proud member of the San Juan business community and has played a vital role in connecting Puerto Rico to the world,” said Millie Uriarte, United’s regional director of Sales for Puerto Rico. “Today’s announcement is just the beginning and we look forward to continuing to do business with customers throughout the island.”
Meanwhile, DHL will expand its San Juan warehouse to offer increased capacity for handling shipments that require strict temperature controls.
The DHL facility expansion will take place by dividing DHL’s current 5,616 square foot warehouse in San Juan into three independently operated cold chambers with a combined capacity of 324 pallets using single pallet racks or 486 pallets on double deep racks. Each of the three chambers will operate at 15 to 25° C (59 to 77° F) and have 100 percent redundant refrigeration systems.
The chambers will also have a hot gas injection system to maintain required relative humidity levels during operation.
“Pharmaceutical companies have increasingly invested in Puerto Rico over the years, and they need a strong global network and cold chain infrastructure to handle their delicate medicines and pharmaceutical products,” said Frank Cascante, head of sales & marketing for DHL Temperature Management Solutions, DHL Global Forwarding.
“DHL Global Forwarding is investing in Puerto Rico by expanding to meet the growing needs of this important market by offering it our cutting-edge temperature-controlled services,” he said.
DHL has been present in Puerto Rico since 1958 and has operations in San Juan with 35 professionals dedicated to servicing the island’s life sciences and health care industry.
According to the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company, the island has 49 FDA-approved pharmaceutical plants and 12 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies have a presence there. It also is the fifth largest pharmaceutical manufacturing territory in the world.
DHL Global Forwarding offers life sciences and health care customers a portfolio of services that includes transportation sourcing and management, shipment tracking, specialty cold chain packaging, RFID label application and temperature-controlled storage and fulfillment, among other services. The company also adheres to strict processes, quality standards and services that comply with government agencies’ requirements.