The Shifting Course in Logistics Support

Pharmaceutical Commerce, Albert Cooksey

In the context of the biopharma/life sciences/healthcare sectors, the concept of third-party logistics (3PL) conjures images of vast warehouses with forklifts, acres of pallets and shelving and specialized personnel providing pick-and-pack services to help coordinate the delivery of medications and medical devices to pharmacies and retail stores, clinics and hospitals, interim warehouses and patients at home. However, today’s buffet of 3PL offerings is so much richer than that, and the specialized companies that offer 3PL services have continued to expand their offerings, to both keep up with and stay ahead of their pharma partners’ needs.
“Logistics operations in the life sciences and healthcare sectors are complex—with no margin for error—given the life-sustaining and lifesaving nature of pharmaceuticals, biologics, vaccines and the essential equipment and supplies moving through our supply chains,” says Jim Saponaro, president, life sciences and Healthcare, DHL Supply Chain. The confluence of pandemic response and the need for enhanced temperature control against the backdrop of seasonal supply fluctuations and a strict regulatory environment have created considerable upheaval and strain in the global supply chain.

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