UPS adds more healthcare facilities to its global portfolio
January 04, 2011 - LM Editorial
In response to its growing healthcare business, UPS said it is opening up new facilities in Asia, Europe, Canada, and the United States that will serve as part of its global healthcare facility network.
This expansion brings the total number of UPS healthcare-dedicate facilities to 30 along with a cumulative dedicated healthcare distribution space of more than 4 million square feet, with the new facilities located in Singapore, Venlo, the Netherlands, Burlington, Canada, and Louisville, Kentucky.
UPS officials said that these new facilities are specifically designed to meet the needs of pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device companies and are configured to help manufacturers meet complex regulatory requirements for healthcare products, as well as provide flexibility to meet various business needs and a global customer base.
UPS Vice President, Global Strategy, UPS Healthcare Logistics Bill Hook said in an interview that this announcement marks a major investment made by UPS in expanding its global healthcare network and is part of a longer-term healthcare strategy for the company. Healthcare is UPS’s fastest-growing industry segment and is an area the company has been focusing heavily on for the last six years.
When asked why UPS focused on expanding in these new markets, Hook explained that some of the facilities were built based on expanding business with existing customers to meet their specific needs, and some were built because existing facilities in these regions were at capacity and UPS anticipates strong future demand.
The ability to address customers’ needs to get product to market is most important,” he said. “We’re building our network around the customer. “
He added that these locations were chosen because of close proximity to the company’s existing air and ground networks/hubs and proximity to healthcare manufacturers. As an example, he cited the company’s two Netherlands facilities are close to its hub in Cologne, Germany, which allows for quick movement of critical products through its air and ground network to reach Europe. And Singapore is a hub for Asia so this brings UPS close to many healthcare manufacturers there. And Hook noted UPS also sees large growth in emerging markets such as Brazil, China and India.
“The healthcare facilities are the heart of a very specialized supply chain,” said Hook. “Through the UPS healthcare facilities, essential products and the related information are delivered safely and efficiently to healthcare providers, dispensers and even directly to patients. For example diabetes and dialysis products delivered to patients in the home, cancer therapies urgently dispatched to hospitals and clinics and 2-to-4 hour parts replenishment to support sophisticated diagnostic and imaging equipment are just some of the many ways UPS’s facilities are leveraged every day.”
These facilities are designed to meet the specific storage and distribution needs of pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies and are cGMP-compliant to ensure regulatory compliance, with UPS quality assurance experts on staff who work in the facilities, said Hook.
UPS also has a regulatory affairs group that maintains FDA, DEA and various state licenses. 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, said Hook.
In terms of the competitive advantages these facilities bring to UPS, Hook said that the company is uniquely positioned in its broad reach globally and is confident that it provides the most comprehensive supply chain and logistics services in healthcare.
“Our other advantage is very strong relationships we have in the marketplace with healthcare manufacturers,” said Hook. “More and more, healthcare companies are seeking collaborative relationships, and UPS has the healthcare expertise and experience to partner with them to design strategic supply chains that will help them meet business objectives and capture new market opportunities.”
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