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Panalpina cuts costs for healthcare companies

Miami, FL, US: Logistics and freight forwarding company Panalpina says its customers in the healthcare industry could make significant cost savings in their supply chains by working together, such as by sharing transport space. Companies are increasing R+D budgets while looking to make savings elsewhere and Panalpina has identified freight forwarding as one area where savings are available to the industry.

Supply chain decision-makers from some the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies attended a series of workshops in Miami, Florida, U.S., together with Panalpina staff, and representatives from the International Air Transport Association, air cargo companies and freight consultants. The workshops covered all aspects of the healthcare industry supply chain.

The participants of the workshop discussed new supply chains and ways of consolidating shipments from multiple companies. The idea of “coopetition”, competitors working together for common benefit while staying fully compliant, was one of Panalpina’s central messages. For example, for healthcare customers, this could mean sharing transport space that would otherwise be empty.

They also discussed which products are best to ship together. Many pharmaceutical products need to be transported and stored 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. Consolidating shipments or where possible also switching to passive cooling solutions with thermo covers and blankets can help reduce costs.

Another potential cost reduction for healthcare companies could be to move more products by sea rather than air, participants found

Intermodal options (where air, road, rail and ocean freight are combined) is another way of reducing cost while not compromising delivery speeds as much as moving purely to ocean freight does. ”

The companies at the workshop agreed to trial a new intermodal route for less urgent shipments. This route, managed by Panalpina, will run across two continents, utilizing air, road and ocean freight with timing and temperature checks throughout. If it proves a success, it will likely form the basis for future collaboration.