Always the Right Temperature

Tailor-made solution for Europe-wide shipping of pharmaceuticals The transport of pharmaceutical products is particularly complex – many things have to be taken into consideration, from legal regulations to the right temperature. The pharmaceutical industry is therefore dependent on highly professional and reliable logistics partners. The Belgian company Omega Pharma, a world leader in the field of so-called over-the-counter (OTC) medication, took over a part of the OTC portfolio of the British pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline in March 2012. In order to serve the European market, the company was looking for a logistics partner who was able to cope with the very high volumes. This is where DHL Freight is ideally suited: it has particular on-site expertise in road, air and sea transport – for example with an 3PL Control Tower in Diegem (Belgium). In addition they have a lot of experience and know-how in transporting temperature-critical products.

Omega Pharma: Since 1987 Omega Pharma has built up a reputation as a capable, customer-oriented company, which is active in the majority of European countries. It serves the rapidly growing market for consumer-friendly OTC medication and has approximately 2,000 brands with over 10,000 product approvals. Some brands like Biodermal, Davitamon, Dermalex, Galenco and Predictor have already been on the market since the early 70’s. Omega has been a member of the Irish pharmaceutical group Perrigo since 2014.

Every month DHL Freight moves 400-450 transports for Omega with up to 80,000 pallets on roughly 1,000 routes throughout Europe. And they will continue to increase turnover in the coming months. The handling of such large capacities is made possible by the temperature-controlled transshipment hub in the Belgian town of Mechelen, which is certified for pharmaceutical products. 90 percent of transports are by road, while the remaining ten per cent are by air and sea. Omega Pharma’s trans-European trade flows are handled in LTL (less than truckload), PTL (partial truckload) and FTL (full truck load) shipments, in both air-conditioned and non-conditioned vehicles. The service package for Omega also includes monthly KPI reporting, transportation management, air and sea packaging, as well as tracking services. In addition, Omega and DHL Freight are working together on optimization possibilities in order to reduce transport frequencies further. These include the potential use of double-deck trailers.

Successful partnership

When it comes to the cooperation, Cedric de Jonghe, Sector Head Life Science & Healthcare, Chemicals Benelux at DHL Freight, says: “We’ve got a very experienced and dedicated team, which knows all the pharmaceutical products very well and has already been working in this field for many years. Our partnership with Omega Pharma has been very successful in the past three years and both parties are very interested in a long-term cooperation. Negotiations on a global agreement, which also includes our business divisions DHL Express, DHL Global Forwarding and DHL Supply Chain, will begin soon.“

Author: Sonja Terbrüggen

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