FORWARDER FOCUS: Pharma logistics

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Naomi Landman, director for commercial development at IJS Global GEFCO, discusses key developments expected in 2016 within the life-science supply chain

The pharmaceutical industry is undergoing a period of change, with new regulations being introduced globally and 2016 will see some very important milestones established.

Technological advances, as well as tax, regulatory, and market demands, are driving change and making the pharmaceutical supply chain more complex. Against this backdrop, over the next couple of years, Europe is set to introduce a series of new serialisation requirements, which will affect all branches of the pharmaceutical industry, from manufacturer and generics producer, to wholesaler and distributor.

This transition will have an impact on the pharma supply chain and consequently, the healthcare industry. As the supply chain becomes more complex, it is important for logistics companies to stay ahead of the curve by improving their understanding of the pharmaceutical industry and not just focus on the freight aspects. Supply chain solutions must be flexible and reliable, and providers must be able to create bespoke solutions based on a clear understanding of the customer and their business.

We also expect to see more developments in the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) on Pharmaceutical Handling programme. This will continue to help airlines, handlers, and forwarders from across the supply chain navigate international compliance regulations and keep them up to speed. This is important because it will help ensure that industry continue to meet consistent standards and assure product integrity.

Further technological advancements will be made to help improve the monitoring of temperature-controlled goods. We believe these advancements will also enhance collaboration from partners across the healthcare supply chain. In order for industry to continue to offer efficient solutions, it is vital that we work closely with our customers and suppliers as well as incorporate the accumulated experiences of our people and industry knowledge.

For IJS Global, our recent acquisition by GEFCO means we expect to see strong growth in 2016, with big opportunities to enhance our business in Asia, Latin America, Central Eastern Europe, and Russia. Equally we will now be able to offer a wider spread service by road and will start looking into different ways of how we move pharmaceutical goods for our customers.