Big players boosting 3PL clout

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Thermo fisher scientific, Supply chain management, Logistics, Pharmacology

Three big industry names have been busily bolstering their pharma
logistics clout: Thermo Fisher Scientific, UPS and Kuehne+Nagel.

Lab instrumentation giant Thermo Fisher Scientific has bought a global third party logistics (3PL) provider in a bid to boost its burgeoning biopharma services business. The new US-based addition, Priority Solutions International, provides a range of pharmaceutical 3PL services to 500 cities worldwide, including shipment of clinical and commercial drug samples, patient supplies to doctors, warehousing and order fulfillment. "This acquisition brings tremendous logistics expertise and an infrastructure to our existing outsourcing services that strengthens our ability to deliver pharmaceutical supplies to the right people at the right time - anywhere in the world",​ said Thermo's president and CEO Marijn Dekkers. Thermo's biopharma services unit provides the packaging and delivery of clinical trial samples to patients and sites and Dekkers indicated that he expects the Priority purchase to make this business more attractive to biopharma customers, who are "increasingly looking to outsource clinical trials management". ​ In other logistics news, UPS has recently announced the establishment of a dedicated healthcare logistics team - a new business sector for the global transportation firm. Bill Hook, the new vice president of Healthcare Logistics, said UPS decided to establish a dedicated team for this industry because "solutions configured for the healthcare sector have unique requirements."​ Extreme time and temperature sensitivity along with rigid regulatory requirements are an example of this. UPS will now offer small package and heavy freight transportation services, 3PL services, and a network of regulatory-compliant controlled environmental facilities tailored to the specific requirements of those involved in the shipping of healthcare products. According to Hook, the firm can also advise its customers of areas within the supply chain that they could be saving time and/or money. "We can advise customers about how much inventory to hold and where to position it as well as define the most efficient transportation options to use for different products going to different distribution channels",​ he said. Meanwhile, Kuehne+Nagel said it has started building a new warehousing facility in Dubai, part of which will house dedicated storage and handling equipment for the specific needs of the pharmaceutical industry. "The Middle East is a very important market",​ said the firm, who is now "aligning its activities to meet the requirements of the dynamic Middle East logistics industry."​ The new facility is expected to become operational by the middle of next year.

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