ATMP Logistics

In the pharmaceutical sector, a streamlined process from A to Z is the key to success, especially in the case of Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP). The logistics of this distinct group of medicines is complex because of the specific requirements regarding temperature, reliability and traceability. With the ATMP Logistics project, VIL has provided an answer to these challenges.

status: Closed | theme: Hinterland Connection, Last mile | type: Regional

Distribution and transport of medicines requires extreme attention to detail in every phase of the logistics chain in order to guarantee the quality of the product at all times. Flanders has an extensive pharmaceutical sector of world renown and there is also extensive knowledge and experience in logistics regarding the transport of medicines.

However, this is not yet the case for Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP), or cell therapy, gene therapy and products based on tissue engineering. These types of medicines require specialized logistics, in which real-time monitoring of temperature, location and security are crucial, e.g. via the Control Tower concept.


In this growing market of both short-haul road distribution and air freight, VIL has worked with the participating companies to develop improved solutions for the logistics of clinical trials and has translated them into a clear short-term guide.

In parallel, a reliable, economically viable and scalable medium-term logistics model were developed, addressing packaging, refrigeration and traceability challenges.



  • ATMP drugs are patient specific and extra sensitive in terms of temperature and shelf life.
  • The project shows that ATMP requires specialized supply chains that must be both scalable and flexible to meet ATMP-related challenges. It is particularly important to set up the logistics chain to perfection for this purpose.
  • Current logistics chains are focused on known pharmaceutical products that are transported regularly and in large volumes. Completely the opposite of what is needed for ATMP. Here it is mainly irregular shipments, with low volumes shipped by small biotech companies or academics.
  • ATMP is relatively new, but in full development. To cope with the expected growth of this type of therapy, VIL has established practical guidelines.
  • VIL recommends involving supply chain experts in the early stages of development. That way, important ATMP-related concerns such as temperature and time sensitivity can be taken into account right away. Real-time and complete supply chain visibility is a necessity.
  • In addition, everyone involved in logistics must be adequately trained so that products can be handled correctly.
  • VIL also further advocates the development of a specific ATMP label. This label should make it clear, without ‘prior knowledge’ that important and sensitive products are handled and transported.
  • During this project, the ATMP Excellence Center was established that will further deepen and disseminate knowledge about ATMP supply chains to the industry.

Practical details

Start: december 2021
End: april 2024

Participating companies

Eighteen companies: Air Liquide Healthcare, Anicells, Brussels Airport, BlueCrux, Cargo Velo, Etheclo, Etherna, Exobiologics, Fat Stem, Livlina, Marken (a UPS Company), Movianto, Novartis Pharma, POM Limburg, Post NL, Topa Packaging, Urbike and UZA.






Would you like to know more?

Contact Dirk De Vylder (

VIL stands for strong logistics in Flanders


De Burburestraat 6-8
B-2000 Antwerpen (Belgium)
T: +32 3 229 05 00
VAT: BE 0480.185.038