Robert Jungblut, senior advisor air freight solutions for pharmaceuticals, writes:

When I took this picture of the former Panalpina building at Amsterdam-Schiphol airport it was 2 months before my official retirement, 10 years after the inauguration of it in 2009. You can say the demolishing symbolizes the end of an era, as 2019 the endgame had started for one of the most remarkable companies in the logistics industry.

In a way the story of the building ran in parallel with my personal journey in the healthcare business. At the same time Panalpina started to built a global healthcare organization of which I was part, that helped me tremendously in my personal development. During many sessions we developed our strategy how to grow this business and how we wanted to get there. A great team with an inspiring leader.

We literally had to built our very first healthcare operation at Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport from scratch. The justification for the investment came after having won a big contract for a large pharmaceutical company. Now the real work started, an intense journey. In hindsight that was a truly bold decision of our new customer to step into this adventure with us. It meant having a lot of confidence in our organization, our people to be able to deliver a challenging project like this.

Within this new warehouse we decided to create a Pharma-environment within a general-cargo warehouse, managed by an outsourced warehouse-staff, both made it extra challenging. We were the first freight-forwarder with direct tarmac-access and in order to benefit from the access we needed a ground-handler that had the permit to operate on the tarmac, hence the outsourced staff.

You have to imagine that there was no other on-airport airfreight-location similar to the one we planned to set up, with a qualified operation for handling of pharmaceutical goods. It was the year 2009…

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