Thursday, May 10, 2012

3PL Group Demonstrates the Need for Specialist Logistics Services from Freight Forwarders

Panalpina First to Attain GDP Certification at Schiphol
Shipping News Feature

NETHERLANDS – WORLDWIDE – As the shipping world feels the pinch more freight forwarders are employing specialist techniques to expand in specific areas of logistics. Whereas once it was purely a matter of extending one’s global services now it is often a case of selecting a specific product type to focus on, no matter the destination.

Swiss 3PL group Panalpina have concentrated on ‘Centres of Excellence’in a bid to cater to the needs of the healthcare industry and all adhere to ‘Good Distribution Practice’ (GDP) to achieve a benchmark level which can be officially recognised. Now the logistics group has been rewarded by becoming the first, and currently only, officially GDP certified Logistics Service Provider at Schiphol Airport.

Pharmaceutical companies are facing increasing challenges in the coming years to comply with official and country-specific rules for storing and transporting their temperature-sensitive products and Panalpina is currently operating the only facility for cross-docking and interim storage with airside access at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport with an official GDP certification issued by the Dutch Ministry of Health. Thomas Berger, Global Head of Industry Vertical Healthcare at Panalpina commented:

“This is a strong signal to our customers in the pharmaceutical industry that rely on our special services. They are required by law to audit their contractors. As a GDP certified provider we adhere to the highest quality standards and make it very easy for all of our customers to prove that they have mitigated their risk.”

GDP ensures that medicinal products are distributed to retail pharmacists and other persons entitled to sell medicinal products to the general public without any alteration of their properties. Medicinal products need to be stored apart from other goods and under the conditions specified by the manufacturer in order to avoid any deterioration by light, moisture or temperature.

During transport and storage specific temperature ranges have to be maintained. Panalpina’s state of the art facility at the main Amsterdam airport has temperature-controlled cells for 2 to 8 and 15 to 25 degrees Celsius. It also offers re-icing services, as well as packaging services for pharmaceutical customers. Peter Herling, Panalpina’s Managing Director for Belgium and the Netherlands added:

“The pharmaceutical industry operates at a high level of quality assurance. Risk mitigation is only one aspect where GDP guidelines will become even stricter in the future. The certification of our facility at Schiphol Airport demonstrates our commitment to our healthcare customers that are operating in an increasingly demanding environment.”