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Pharmaceutical logistics: expertise in response to the Covid-19 global health emergency

Puteaux. 15 May 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has tested the pharmaceutical industry’s global supply chain. In view of the crisis, Bolloré Transport & Logistics is supporting its customers with expertise, helping them avoid any interruptions in supplies of essential and vital products.

By its very nature, the pharmaceutical industry is a sensitive sector under constant pressure. Teams must be highly reactive - all the more so during a pandemic like the world is facing today - and must be able to provide seamless organisation for end-to-end deliveries of medicines, vaccines, as well as biotech products. At the end of the supply chain, hospitals, healthcare centres and patients are waiting to receive these medicines, and human lives can be at stake.

Air transport remains the preferred method for transporting these products, but is also one of the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 epidemic. To ensure the continuity of supply chains, Bolloré Transport & Logistics has had to overcome the flight restrictions put in place by chartering special aircraft and cargo flights to move pharmaceutical products around the world.

Bespoke multimodal transport solutions

The company is also working with the entire pharmaceutical industry to build bespoke multimodal transport solutions, combining air and sea freight via its regional healthcare platforms. Several charter flights have been deployed as part of reliable and secure solutions, supported by Bolloré Logistics platforms certified BPF/BPD and GMP (Singapore) and CEIV Pharma, departing from Miami for Latin America, from Singapore for Asia, from Canada and Chicago for North America, as well as from Paris Charles de Gaulle, Liège and Luxembourg for Europe and Africa.

At the same time, a new multimodal service has been opened between Asia and production sites located in the United States and Europe. Bolloré Transport & Logistics is moving products from factories at several different sites in the USA and Europe to Asia. Products are consolidated at our hub in Singapore, a brand-new transhipment centre specially created for this type of operation, before leaving Singapore by sea in temperature-controlled containers, in order to reach the markets of Southeast Asia. This solution requires specific equipment, such as reefer containers, in order to guarantee products are kept at controlled temperatures without breaking the cold chain at any time during the transport process.

Providing high-precision transport operations

All these movements of goods are tightly controlled thanks to the implementation of precise operational monitoring systems, as well as the Bolloré Transport & Logistics Track & Trace solution, which guarantees complete operational oversight in real-time via geolocation. A container temperature monitoring and alert system is put in place during transport, along with additional cold chain management services (thermal protection, insulated packaging, etc.). Upon receiving the slightest warning, the company’s 24/7 operations centre is able to react and take steps to remedy any unforeseen events.

These measures, alongside the expertise of our teams, allow Bolloré Transport & Logistics to provide high-precision transport operations that are adapted to the needs of our customers and the current climate. In the event of any shortages or tensions in the supply of certain medicines/biotech critical to the pharmaceutical professions in the medium or longer term, special operations can quickly be put in place. In March 2020, Bolloré Transport & Logistics managed the shipment of over 90 tonnes of life-saving medicines between Frankfurt and Guangzhou on behalf of a biotechnology firm. The entire operation was carried out in full compliance with temperatures restricted to +2°C to +8°C and a special destination process for customs clearance and immediate transfer to temperature‑controlled trucks.

Our teams are mobilising and work in perfect synergy

Around the world, Bolloré Transport & Logistics teams are part of the fight against Covid-19, whether in North America with weekly freight shipments on behalf of the Canadian government to provide various essential supplies of protective equipment, medical equipment being shipped from Shanghai to Canada and the United States, or else the creation of an air bridge between China and Europe to supply protective masks and medical equipment.

Working in perfect synergy, our teams are mobilising to manage the end-to-end logistics of some of the most complex operations taking place during the pandemic currently facing the world.