DHL Express’ temperture-controlled logistics services offers critical needs to the pharma sector. RS Subramanian, Country Manager, DHL Express, talks more about the solutions offered for the pharma industry
Tell us about the ongoing activities of DHL Express’ Temperature Controlled Logistics (TCL) services. What solutions do you offer for the pharmaceutical sector?
Quality control is one of the most important factors in the purchase and distribution of pharmaceutical drugs. Hence, pharma companies look for reliable partners such as DHL Express, who understand the sector and its supply chain needs. To address their critical needs, DHL Express has developed a specialised vertical — ‘temperature controlled logistics’ services.
We are currently helping companies deliver their pharma products and are also supporting companies who serve Indian patients for various niche diagnostic services related to genetic, oncology and others by sending their biological samples abroad for testing.
As the world’s leading international express services provider, we are essentially a one-stop solution for all TCL needs. We have made necessary investments into the right infrastructure and have been training teams to create a valuable proposition for our partners. On top of TCL box pickup and drop-off facilities, we have cold rooms to facilitate TCL at our service centres across Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad. We also offer quick turnaround times, best- in-class packaging solutions, a dedicated team, in-house cold room facilities and cost- effective solutions.
Keeping in mind the sensitive nature of the shipments from this sector, we also ensure that the entire process of shipping the goods is compliant and in adherence to customs and drug controllers.
What are the key features of DHL’s Thermonet and how does it help pharma companies improve cold chain?
DHL Thermonet has been designed specifically for the life sciences and healthcare sectors. This niche service offers customers a seamless and regulatory compliant platform for shipping temperature-sensitive goods. It ensures round-the-clock proactive monitoring and intervention.
The SmartSensor RFID technology, an in-house development from DHL’s Solutions & Innovation division, monitors the ambient temperature of the shipment in transit. As an optional service, near-product temperature of goods can also be recorded utilising the SmartSensor XP technology, enabling more targeted intervention. Additionally, LifeTrack is an integrated operational tool for all logistical and temperature data, from standard operating procedures creation through shipment monitoring and intervention, for DHL Thermonet. LifeTrack also simplifies and automates document control and change management.1
How does DHL help pharma companies to increase penetration within rural markets?
Owing to our large network, DHL provides pharma companies access to its TCL services across 659 cities in India. With our offering of TCL services to 220+ countries and territories, we are unmatched in the market and thus able to deliver to the companies and patients based even in remote locations of various African countries.
What innovative solutions does DHL plans to offer the pharma sector?
Keeping in mind the significance of quality control in the pharma sector, we have invested in several innovations in our TCL service offering. We can send blood samples to genetic samples at temperatures of -70 °C to 8 °C or more, as required. We can monitor them remotely through tracking devices and with on-ground data loggers. We are continually helping the pharma and biotech industries become compliant with multiple options of moving shipments in adherence to customs and drug controllers in a cost effective manner across the globe.
With a view that each of our customers in the life sciences and healthcare space also has varied requirements depending on the type of shipment, we have introduced various product offerings:
Time definite: Door- to-door delivery by pre-selected time, either overnight or on the next possible business day
Specialised definite: Industry-specific specialised express movement solution
Same day: Immediate pick up and the fastest possible delivery for emergency shipment
Value added services: Value added services designed to meet special logistics requirements such as customs services, environmentally-friendly standards (Go Green), shipper interest insurance, remote area service, etc.
We are also continually investing in the development and sourcing of innovative packaging and data logger solutions to improve the efficiency of our TCL product for our customers.
Which new solutions you wish to introduce soon?
We function as a one-stop solution for temperature-controlled logistics, which reflects through our investments in a dedicated vertical for this sector and a 24/7 dedicated TCL customer service team. We are constantly in the process of enhancing our existing solutions and offering new solutions with regard to temperature ranges, packaging and data logging, pricing and customer service.
We are also constantly investing in the development and sourcing of innovative packaging and data logger solutions to improve the efficiency of our TCL product for our customers.
How fast is the Indian pharma logistics sector growing and what are the factors driving this growth?
Indian drugs are exported to more than 200 countries in the world, with the US as the key market. Generic drugs account for 20 per cent of global exports in terms of volume, making the country the largest provider of generic medicines globally and expected to expand even further in coming years. The country accounts for the second largest number of Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) and is the world leader in Drug Master Files (DMFs) applications with the US.
Keeping in mind the exponential growth of trade activity between India and the rest of the world in the pharma sector, logistics is a critical and essential enabler, facilitating this growth by delivering the right products in the right quality at the right time. Increased pressures from international consignees and regulators have in turn heightened the need for quality, time and cost conscious supply chains. As a result of these global trends, Indian businesses need to look at logistics solutions that meet global standard while ensuring end –to-end supply chain integrity.