Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


UPS and Merck extend relationship with a global supply chain focus

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
June 28, 2011

Taking steps to further leverage a relationship that has been intact since 2003, UPS and global pharmaceutical giant Merck said today they are expanding their distribution and logistics agreement on more of a global supply chain basis.

Prior to this announcement, UPS managed the distribution, warehousing, multi-modal, and transportation services of Merck’s North America-based medicines and vaccines, as well as package transportation and delivery services.

And with this new agreement, UPS will provide these services to Merck in certain markets in Asia and Latin America, as well as the emerging markets of China and Brazil, and transportation services in Europe, according to UPS officials.

“This has been a few years in the making,” said UPS Vice President, Global Strategy, UPS Healthcare Logistics, Bill Hook, in an interview. “Merck had been looking for more of a collaborative relationship and reducing the number of companies they deal with from a global supply chain standpoint.”

This effort began in earnest in 2009, with a North America project between UPS and Merck, when UPS took over control of Merck’s distribution centers in the U.S. and related transportation services as well.

Hook said this problem was viewed as a real test, with innovative processes driving the value-creation goals UPS and Merck put together, with the idea that this partnership could be expanded and become a true global collaboration.

“For us, this relationship impacts every region of the world where we do business with Merck,” said Hook.  “There are, or will be, facilities on the main continents in North America, Asia, and Latin America. Regarding the international movement of Merck’s vaccines and medicines, we will provide service to every region and market they serve. From that standpoint, it involves origin and destination lanes in every continent and most countries and our brokerage operation for clearing a product into these markets.”

With several Merck products being temperature-sensitive, UPS has had to do a comprehensive training program for all of its global offices for products that require strict temperature and environmental controls, said Hook. And in some cases, UPS is opening new facilities and distribution centers in locations where they are needed, including ones in China and Brazil, where capacity is needed.

Hook said the key part of this deal for Merck is based on how the industry is facing unprecedented change with the market dynamics around regulation and the globalization of healthcare and pressures from government are creating an environment where companies need to change and think outside of the box for how to go forward.

“This expanded agreement with UPS allows us to focus on our core business as a global healthcare leader that looks for innovative ways to bring our medicines and vaccines to patients in emerging markets and markets around the world,” said Willie A. Deese, executive vice president and president, Merck Manufacturing Division, in a statement. “UPS has the proven logistics expertise to deliver Merck’s products with speed, consistency and care to our customers and patients.”

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Earlier today, the United States Senate signed off on a six-year surface transportation authorization, according to various media reports. The bill, entitled the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act, passed by a 65-34 margin and comes at a time, when the most recent extension for surface transportation funding expires tomorrow, July 31.

Demand for the $500 million in available funding for the United States Department of Transportation’s TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) competitive grant program was easily trumped, with applications for the seventh round of TIGER grants coming in at $9.8 billion, or nearly twenty times the available amount, DOT said this week.

Global logistics managers will be tracking the progress of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks in Maui, Hawaii this week, as negotiating parties hope to finalize the agreement.

As has been noted in recent coverage on this site in regards to Peak Season, one underlying theme has been, and remains, how Peak Season is not what it used to be. That is not to say there will not be any Peak Season-related activity. Make no mistake, there will be and things driving it from the seasonal nature of business activity and cargo flows to higher demand and increased e-commerce activity, among others.

UPS Access Point locations serve as a replacement delivery address when consumers are not at home to receive a package or when consumers want a delivery to go somewhere other than their residence.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA