A leading logistics player believes health care shippers could see major supply chain savings by moving away from a “delivery first, cost later” mentality.
Panalpina said its customers in the vertical could cut costs by working together and sharing transport space to improve competitiveness, especially where pharmaceutical products are being shipped in temperature-controlled environments. “In air freight, this generally means shipping products using relatively expensive active cooling solutions, specially designed containers with built-in refrigeration systems,” the company said. “Consolidating shipments or, where possible, also switching to passive cooling solutions with thermo covers and blankets can help reduce costs.”
More cargo could also be shipped as ocean freight. “Identifying product lines that could switch to ocean freight, leaving only the most urgent items and delicate goods for air travel, could present health care companies with substantial cost savings,” Panalpina said, following a series of workshops with pharmaceutical companies.
Intermodal options could also offer cost savings without compromising delivery speeds as much as using just ocean solutions.
“Ocean freight doesn’t have to make up the complete journey,” said Thomas Berger, global head of industry vertical health care at Panalpina. “By mixing ocean freight with other forms of transport, there are almost unlimited options; it really just depends on the customer’s needs.”
Panalpina said it is working with pharmaceutical companies to trial a new intermodal route for less urgent shipments and would also look to create a new framework and more efficient documentation for streamlining the supply chain process for health care products.
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