Chemical and pharmaceutical sectors: why the role of logistics is becoming strategic

Chemical and pharmaceutical sectors: why the role of logistics is becoming strategic

The role of logistics and shippers is becoming strategic in the fields of chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
In fact, the quality and reliability of the supply chain have become increasingly important competitive factors with respect to price positioning.

Why the logistics management of the drug and the chemical product are more expensive than the price

Logistic operators operating in the chemical and pharmaceutical field are facing increasingly complex challenges.
For example:
• climate changes
• increasingly stringent safety standards
• rigid infrastructures
• digitization
These challenges require operators to adopt appropriate tools and technologies, with consequences on costs.
Despite the increased cost pressures, the quality and safety guaranteed by the leading pharmaceutical transport companies remains at the highest level.
After all, patient health is at stake here.

The GDP (Good Logistic Practice) legislation derives from the EU directive and was updated in 2013 to increase the security of the pharmaceutical supply chain.
Furthermore, an additional EU guideline has been in force since 9 February 2019 with a focus on falsified medicines (FMD).
It, among other things, establishes that prescription-only medicines can be marketed only in a package with a serial number and tamper-proof closure. The goods must be validated at the point of sale before they can be delivered.
This is to prevent the phenomenon of counterfeits.

Increased demand for IT skills

The increasing demands for security and control are naturally accompanied by an increase in the demand for IT skills and tools.
The creation of networks between different shippers is gaining increasing importance in the chemical and pharmaceutical field: the controls on the temperatures and on the different phases of the supply chain must be certified by digital measuring instruments.
Thus the collaborations between chemical and pharmaceutical logistics service providers and companies specialized in digital transformation are growing.
The logistics multinational Talke, for example, has partnered with SAP as part of an innovation project aimed at defining common standards for the chemical industry.

The importance of storage locations

In long transport routes or for the handling of drugs and products that can be delivered the next day or in the following days, the storage point is of primary importance.
The scarcity of adequate storage areas for products that require controlled temperatures can become an area of ​​weakness for chemical and pharmaceutical companies.

Tendency towards longer contract periods

In this context, logistics has long been converted from a necessary cost to a strategic success factor, benefiting service providers.
Freight forwarders are now seated at a table with manufacturers and retailers to ensure the necessary long-term load capacity.10

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