With years of experience Finnair Cargo offers a reliable solution for the transportation of time and temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals. Our Nordic Pharma Chain is designed to meet the customers´ and industry’s expectations, and to provide protection and product integrity through the entire transportation chain. 

Finnair Cargo follows the guidelines set in IATA PCR Chapter 17 and by choosing us as your partner you will benefit from top quality services on major pharmaceutical trade lanes between Europe, Asia and North America.

Service features

Pharma light (PHA) Pharma (PIL+CRT/ERT/COL/FRO)
Pharma storage * Yes Yes
Temperature controlled storage * No Yes
Minimized tarmac time No Yes
High loading priority ** Yes Yes
Flight crew notified to adjust the cargo hold temperature * No Yes
IATA time and temperature controlled labels No Yes
Tailor made dollies for tarmac process to protect from temperature fluctuations No Yes
Thermal blankets available containers No Yes
Space guarantee (if booked as FIRST service) o o
Not included
* Subject to aircraft/station limitations
** Higher for PIL+CRT/ERT/COL/FRO

Temperature controlled facilities in COOL

Nature of goodsTemperature rangeTemperature controlled facilities

Refrigerated storage (COL)

+2 to +8 degrees Celcius

208 m2

Room Temperature (CRT)

+15 to +25 degrees Celcius

2600 m2

Freezer storage (FRO)

-18 degrees Celcius

50 m2

Active solutions for temperature-sensitive shipments

Envirotainer's containers can be ordered for active temperature control during transport. For container details please see Envirotainer's website.

Passive solutions for temperature-sensitive shipments

Finnair Cargo customers can pre-order v-Q-tec cases or containers that offer efficient protection for their temperature-sensitive shipments. In addition to va-Q-cases intended for smaller sized shipments, va-Q-tainers are available in three different sizes: va-Q-tainer EURO , va-Q-tainer US and va-Q-tainer XL. The typical performance of these containers is a high temperature stability in the desired range (e.g. +2 ... +8 °C or +15 ... +25 °C) for 120 hours at +30 °C or ± 0 °C ambient temperatures. A 120-hour validation for summer and winter shipments is available using the standard configuration.

For further information on active or passive solutions please contact your local Finnair Cargo Sales/Reservations.

Please note that only one temperature range is allowed per shipment (MAWB) and every package in the shipment must be labelled accordingly. Please remember to book your temperature sensitive pharma shipments with SPH (special handling) code PIL and code COL or CRT or ERT or FRO depending on the required temperature range to ensure appropriate handling of these sensitive goods. In case temperature control is not required, please use Pharma Light code PHA (see Service Features above).

Note! Only non-temperature sensitive shipments can be booked as general cargo but Finnair Cargo does not recommend booking pharmaceuticals as general cargo. Booking as general cargo does not provide any special features and shipment will not be treated as pharmaceuticals.

COL means ‘cool temperature’, typically +2°C to +8°C

CRT means Controlled room temperature', for +15°C to +25°C 

ERT means "Extended Room Temperature, for +2°C to +25°C and

FRO means 'freezer temperature', typically -10 C or below

When a shipment contains pharmaceutical or healthcare goods this must be clearly stated in the Handling Information of Master Air Waybill together with the appropriate temperature range, e.g. +15°C to +25°C. 

Example of information entered in AWB:

Pharmaceuticals keep between +15°C to +25°C

Pharmaceuticals keep cool between +2°C to +8°C

Additionally, a 24h contact telephone number(s) of a person knowledgeable about the shipment must be provided at the time of booking and on the Master Air Waybill.

IATA Time and Temperature Sensitive label with correct temperature information must be affixed to every package containing pharmaceutical goods. Further information: IATA Time and Temperature Sensitive label.

Shippers are responsible to ensure that all legislation concerning countries of export/import or transit is followed, and that any permit, certificate or other documentation, where required, is available to be provided to customs, health or other authorities.

Shipper must ensure the product is properly packaged. If there is any doubt, whether the normal air transport and handling conditions can be withstood, shipper must consult Finnair Cargo.

For more information please contact your local Finnair Cargo representative.