Chicago, Illinois and Dubai, UAE - Maestro's GDP certified facility is part of Emirates SkyCargo's global pharma corridors initiative.

At an event attended by sixty customers, guests and Emirates staff, Maestro International Cargo was officially unveiled as Emirates SkyCargo's handling partner for pharma at Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Forwarders and pharmaceutical shippers toured the pharma facility with senior leadership from Maestro and Emirates. Event attendees also received briefings from Julian Sutch, Global Manager of Pharma Sales for Emirates SkyCargo and a number of the carrier's partners from the pharma vertical including providers of specialized temperature-controlled containers for pharma cargo.

Maestro International Cargo COO Robert Hanson addressing attendees of their joint Maestro / Emirates SkyPharma event.
Maestro International Cargo COO Robert Hanson addressing attendees of their joint Maestro / Emirates SkyPharma event.

Edip Pektas, Managing Partner of Maestro International Cargo, crystallized what makes the partnership successful. "An airline and handling company working closely hand-in-hand nowadays is rare. Emirates shared with us their needs and vision and we developed our solution to meet the high standards they set for themselves."

From Emirates SkyCargo's point of view, Maestro is a model partner company for their pharma corridors initiative which aims to deliver enhanced protection for pharma cargo from origin to destination. This model includes working with ground handling partners and other stakeholders at various main pharma and origin stations.

Maestro operates a three-zone, GDP certified cooler exclusive dedicated to handling pharmaceuticals at a range of temperatures between 8 and 25 degrees Celsius. The system features state-of-the-art temperature and humidity monitoring and is backed up by a dedicated back-up power generation system monitored around the clock and fully tested weekly.

"The importance and value of the pharmaceuticals in our cooler at any given time demanded the highest possible reliability, monitoring and transparency of the environmental conditions for our airline and forwarder customers," details Chief Operating Officer (COO) Robert Hanson. "The environmental systems sample temperature at ground level, mid-cooler at a height of eight feet and at the ceiling at twenty feet. The facility provides direct airside access and for arriving freighters it means that within a matter of minutes, cargo is moved from the aircraft to a controlled and monitored environment."

Maestro designed and built their electrical grid to handle the specialized demands of shippers with sealed and operating refrigerated units. The facility features ten outlets in the 15 - 25 degree Celsius cooler and an additional ten such outlets in the general warehouse space.

"Emirates SkyCargo has made a significant investment to develop fit for purpose infrastructure for pharma cargo at our hub in Dubai for cargo transiting between any of our more than 155 global destinations. This includes GDP certification for our pharma operations across two airports, a fleet of close to 50 Cool Dollys dedicated to protecting temperature sensitive pharma cargo from temperature excursion on the ramp and our White Cover thermal blankets," offers Jannie Davel, Emirates VP Cargo Commercial, Americas. "Worldwide, Emirates moved 75 million kilograms of pharma last year and Chicago is a major pharmaceutical gateway in our network. Because of this, we needed our Chicago partner to meet the same rigorous standards for quality, technology and handling we have set for ourselves."

"Our partnership with Maestro has had a great start and we look forward to steadily increasing the number of pharmaceuticals moving in and out of Chicago with their support," continued Davel.

As a non-exclusive partner of Emirates SkyCargo, Maestro's airside, handling, warehousing and pharmaceutical cooler are available to scheduled airlines and charter operators coming into and out of Chicago. "With a combined throughput of 20 million kilos annually, four-hour recovery times for imports and the capability of offering house air waybill level breakdown and segregation, Maestro is an attractive new entrant into the market with the bandwidth to grow," says Hanson.

"The capital support of our partner Inoa Ventures allows Maestro to rapidly scale up our equipment and personnel," adds Pektas. "Our core leadership team consists of industry veterans who understand the needs of both regularly scheduled airline customers and ad hoc charter operators alike."