The new Thermonet service uses DHL’s SmartSensor RFID technology which constantly monitors the temperature of shipments in transit, offering its life sciences clients a temperature-controlled distribution service by air.
“The current situation within the Life Sciences and Healthcare market, facing an increasingly regulated environment, demands a higher level of service compliance,” said President of Life Sciences and Healthcare DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation, Angelos Orfanos.
“By means of DHL Thermonet, we will meet our customers’ requirements, enhance our cold chain activities and expand our market leading capabilities in Life Sciences and Healthcare, one of DHL’s key focus sectors.”
The service will complement DHL’s strategy of appealing to the growing biologics market – which it says expects to generate 50 percent of sales in the sector within the next five years - with new innovations in cold-chain expansion.
In April the firm announced 30 of its global forwarding sites had achieved Qualified Envirotrainer Provider (QEP) Accreditation – a programme developed by Swedish firm Envirotrainer, incorporating Good Distribution Practice (GDP) in accordance with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Thermonet will be implemented in all 30 sites and the service will target twice as many stations by the end of 2014, with further expansion planned.
The cold-chain logistics will assist in offering services in emerging markets, a key area marked by DHL as a focus for its pharma logistics business.
Speaking with Outsourcing-Pharma.com, DHL spokesperson Juliane Ranft said: “DHL is strongly committed to investing in emerging markets” as it expects such countries as China, Brazil and India to be the key drivers of growth in the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector beyond 2015.
India, specifically, has been a key focus for DHL who opened a 56,000m2 life sciences distribution centre in Mumbai last year in order to offer warehousing and clinical trial services.
According to Ranft, India, as “the third largest exporter of pharmaceutical products after USA and Western Europe,” is “well-positioned in the life sciences and healthcare sector” and growing at over 20% year-on-year.
Rival company UPS has also spoken of the large and developing market opportunities in Asia recently, and last month opened a storage and distribution facility in Zhejiang, China.