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Always the Right Temperature

The transport of pharmaceutical products is complex - there is a lot to consider, from legal regulations to the right temperature. The pharmaceutical industry is therefore dependent on highly professional and reliable logistics partners. In March 2012, Belgium-based Omega Pharma, one of the global market leaders in over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, took over part of the OTC portfolio of the British pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline. In order to serve the European market, the company was looking for a logistics partner capable of handling the very high volumes. DHL Freight is ideally positioned here: It has a high level of on-site expertise in road, air and sea transportation - in Diegem (Belgium), for example, there is a 3PL control tower. DHL Freight also has a great deal of experience and know-how in the transport of temperature-critical products.

Tailor-made solution for Europe-wide pharmaceutical shipping

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 Sciences & 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.“

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