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UPS continues to make inroads on global healthcare front

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
October 29, 2012

UPS last week announced that it has taken major steps to expand its global healthcare distribution facility in the Asia Pacific region, opening three new “state of the art facilities” in Hangzhou, China, Shanghai, China, and Sydney, Australia.

Company officials said that with these additions UPS now has 36 dedicated global healthcare facilities, with more than 500 meters of cumulative square feet of space and are part of its strategy to investing in its global healthcare network to meet the needs of its global healthcare customers.

“UPS is continually investing in our global healthcare network, timed with – and often ahead of – market demand to support our clients’ growth strategies in key regions,” said Bill Hook, vice president, global strategy, UPS Healthcare Logistics, in an interview. “While UPS is already well established in Asia, including China and Australia, two overall trends that are driving our healthcare network expansion in APAC specifically are increasing globalization and rapid growth in emerging market healthcare consumption. China in particular is a rapidly growing market for healthcare with a fast-growing middle class and aging population, two factors that have led to significant changes in the market’s healthcare and disease profiles. Shanghai has become one of the largest consumption markets for healthcare products. Australia is an established market for healthcare companies and we are continuing to grow our business with our experience in healthcare into this region.”

UPS outlined some specifics of the new facilities, which include:
-Hangzhou is comprised of 22,200 square meters of validated healthcare distribution space and opened during the third quarter. UPS said it is designed to support the increasing number of pharmaceutical companies that are locating manufacturing operations in China;
-Shanghai’s new 7,575 square meter facility in the Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone is geared towards the medical device market and provides critical access to one of the largest consumption markets for healthcare products and its close proximity of the Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone to the UPS International Air Hub in Shanghai allows UPS to provide an integrated supply chain solution to the healthcare market. UPS said that the UPS International Air Hub in Shanghai operates 82 flights per week and provides critical access for inbound shipments into China as well as outbound shipments around the world; and
-Sydney, which opened in the third quarter, is comprised of 5,388 square meters of dedicated healthcare distribution space.  UPS said that with many multi-national and regional companies looking to set up distribution in Sydney to serve regional markets, UPS’s facility provides quick turn-around, including next-day delivery capabilities.

Hook said these facilities are designed to meet the specific storage and distribution needs of pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies.

“Two of the greatest benefits to customers are the ability to leverage UPS’s existing healthcare supply chain network, designed to meet even the most rigorous compliance needs, and the flexibility to expand into new markets and serve new customer bases using UPS’s already established infrastructure in the region,” he explained. “Through the UPS healthcare facilities, essential products and related information are delivered safely and efficiently to healthcare providers, dispensers and even patients around the world. Facilities house a combination of distribution services which can include temperature-sensitive/ cold chain capabilities, regulatory compliance, monitoring and security, kitting and labeling, order to cash services. Our facilities are also strategically located near runways and major air hubs to ensure speed-to-market, which is critical in the healthcare industry.”

The UPS executive added that another significant advantage of offers customers is by helping them stay ahead of fast-evolving regulatory compliance needs around the globe. Its facilities are cGMP-compliant and he said UPS has UPS quality assurance experts on staff who work in the facilities. It also has a regulatory affairs group that maintains FDA licensing, and hundreds of geographically specific licenses and registrations. And most of its facilities are designed to protect and store temperature-sensitive drugs and other healthcare products as the need for cold chain capabilities grows with an increasing number of biologics coming into the marketplace, according to Hook. UPS facilities are also designed with state-of-the-art security systems, including vaults for protecting high-value healthcare products.

Hook also noted that this latest expansion of its healthcare network further enhances its strong global healthcare-dedicated network, which, in turn, allows UPS to meet new and evolving needs of its healthcare customers in the APAC region.

“A key advantage that UPS can provide to our customers is access to the strongest global network with dedicated healthcare facilities in every key region of the world,” he said. “We are strategically positioned to help both multi-national and regional healthcare companies meet their global expansion needs and serve new customer bases ranging from hospitals to physicians to pharmacies and even end patients.”

Looking ahead, Hook said that healthcare is a key priority segment for UPS and the company will continue to invest building out its global healthcare infrastructure and network to meet the evolving needs of its healthcare customers.

While he could not share specific information about future healthcare network investments, he said UPS will continue to expand its global network and services for the healthcare industry.

“In terms of our healthcare growth, we have experienced double-digit growth over the past five-plus years in integrated healthcare distribution and transportation solutions,” he said.  We’ve increased our healthcare distribution space by over 40% percent globally in the past two years.”

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).

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