Pharmaceutical giant Merck is giving UPS a bigger role in its international business, including key emerging markets such as China and Brazil.
Merck, which has been using UPS in the U.S. since 2003, will expand its agreement with the Atlanta-based company to include aspects of its global supply chain.
The $46 billion healthcare products manufacturer already uses UPS to warehouse, transport and distribute medicines and vaccines in North America.
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The company, which merged with Schering-Plough last year, produces products ranging from Singulair asthma medication to Coppertone suntan lotion.
Since the merger, the company has been deploying what it calls “deliberate cost control measures” to create a more efficient and effective operating model.
“This expanded agreement with UPS allows us to focus on our core business,” said Willie A. Deese, executive vice president and president of Merck Manufacturing.
Merck, known as MSD outside the U.S. and Canada, is launching more than 10 medicines and vaccines in key markets, including Asia and Latin America.
UPS is building distribution centers for Merck in China and Brazil to support manufacturing and packaging facilities and speed distribution in those markets.
In the U.S. and Canada, UPS manages temperature-controlled warehouses for Merck products that include vaccines and specialty pharmaceutical products.