UPS releases proactive shipment monitoring and risk management product for healthcare shipments

By Jeff Berman · July 2, 2013

Global transportation and logistics bellwether UPS last week released a new offering called UPS Proactive Response Secure.

The company said that this offering is a proactive shipment monitoring and risk management product that protects consumers against lost profits, as well as help ensure time- and temperature-sensitive shipments reach their destinations while guaranteeing up to the retail value, and other costs, when unexpected events occur, such as weather delays.

And it added that expands UPS’s healthcare offerings geared to prevent delays of time- and temperature-sensitive shipments via 24-7 proactive monitoring and intervention services, with roughly 15 million packages shipped with UPS Proactive Response in 2012. This new service is for healthcare shipments, including specialty pharmaceuticals, biologics, diagnostic specimens, implantable surgical materials, clinical trial shipments, and UPS said it can also be used for other sectors that have high-value shipments or temperature-sensitive needs.

“Manufacturers, retail pharmacies and distributors have expressed the desire to have an affordable option to mitigate the financial risk of compromised product integrity in transportation,” said Bill Hook, VP of Healthcare Logistics at UPS, in an interview. “With this barrier eliminated, it’s possible to create new and efficient initiatives. We are continually focused on enhancing and expanding our specialized offerings for the healthcare industry with tailored solutions our customers can benefit from, such as this new service.”

Hook said that specific trends driving the need for UPS Proactive Response Secure include increasingly complex and temperature-sensitive healthcare products coming into the marketplace, as well as continued global expansion in the industry, both of which have increased the need for supply chain flexibility and broader risk management solutions.

The biggest benefit of this offering, according to Hook, is that clients can introduce more efficient, innovative models and improve customer service. As an example, he said a large retail chain is now introducing an innovative model to optimize inventory between stores and provide better product availability. Additional benefits that are unique in the industry include automatic insurance coverage up to the selling price, coverage for expedited shipping fees and temperature-sensitive shipment intervention services (like dry ice replenishment and refrigeration).

“[Shippers] will see the most improvements in the bottom line and in customer satisfaction,” said Hook. “The service not only alleviates worry for shippers but also simplifies their shipping, insurance and billing processes. For example, shippers can save time by reducing the risk of error by “defaulting” to a pre-set value declaration for their shipments. Additionally, they will be insured for up to the full retail value – a first in the industry.

As for the next steps, Hook explained that throughout its pilot phase, UPS Proactive Response Secure proved to be an efficient and effective solution for its customers. This service is offered within the U.S. and outbound to Europe, and Hook said UPS plans to roll it out into additional markets and is currently evaluating expanding the service offering in Europe.

This is the latest foray into the healthcare sector for Atlanta-based UPS, whom also announced last week that it recently opened a Louisville, Ky.-based 245,000 square-foot healthcare-dedicated facility, which it said meets the needs of the growing healthcare sector.


About the Author

Jeff Berman
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. Contact Jeff Berman

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