Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pharmaceutical Logistics Goes for a Cleaner Freight Option in Greece

Swiss Groups Clean up their Act
Shipping News Feature

GREECE – SWITZERLAND – All companies these days have the need to demonstrate their environmental credentials and no industry is more in the spotlight than that of freight and logistics. Whilst container shipping is making undoubted efforts to reduce pollution levels the vast amounts transported at one time make the nature of the transport more generally accepted. This is plainly not the case with air freight or indeed road haulage which often has to stand up against rail freight shipments.

One of the industries which is traditionally reliant on air freight is pharmaceuticals and even when road transport is adopted for shorter journeys time and temperature play vital roles in the acceptability of the transit method. Two Swiss groups, Roche and Kuehne + Nagel, both major players in their respective fields, have worked together with the intention of jointly arriving at a more acceptable method for shipping products made by the pharmaceutical group when undertaking the latest contract between them.

For Roche’s business in Greece products have to be kept within clearly defined temperature ranges throughout the entire transport from pick-up to the customer (between +2°C and +8°C and between +15°C and +25°C). Usually, such products are transported by airfreight even over relatively short distances but K + N say they collaborated closely with the customer to develop a solution that ideally fulfils all requirements.

Based on the logistics provider's own 'KN PharmaChain' product the logistics provider supplies state of the art refrigerated trailers which permit exact temperature control and efficient double-stack loading. The majority of the tractor units conform to the Euro-5 standard and the network, which is certified in accordance with Good Distribution Practice standards (GDP), guaranteeing an unbroken refrigeration chain in road transport.

In the solution that has been developed, the shipments originating from various Roche production plants are consolidated by Kuehne + Nagel and transported to Greece under temperature controlled conditions. Compared with air transport, substantially less fuel is consumed for the same distance. Furthermore, the passive temperature control packing, which was previously required, is no longer needed, thus reducing the volume of the shipment as well as saving packing material. As a result of these measures, the CO2 emissions are reduced by around 85%.

The remaining CO2 is offset by a project of the Swiss not for profit organisation myclimate, which is being financed with a one-time payment by Kuehne + Nagel. Dirk Reich, Executive Vice President and member of the Management Board of Kuehne + Nagel International AG comments:

"The implementation of this project is the result of a close partnership in the fields of sustainability and green logistics. This clearly shows that Roche and Kuehne + Nagel do more than pay lip service to the protection of the environment.”

Stop Press:

Kuehne + Nagel in another temperature related release announced today that is has entered into an agreement to take over the specialised Australian freight forwarder Link Logistics International Pty. Ltd. K + N says the acquisition is in line with Kuehne + Nagel’s strategy to globally expand its activities in the field of perishables logistics. Established in 1998, Link Logistics is a privately owned freight forwarder with headquarters in Melbourne and facilities in Sydney and Tasmania. Specialised in cold chain management, the company offers comprehensive services for the supply of perishable goods to hospitality and consumer markets, mainly in Asia and the Middle East.

Photo: Times have moved on for K + N. Sourced from Kuehne + Nagel International AG.