Digital Edition

Cool Cargoes October 2015

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 25 of 31

COOL CARGOES 26 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE OCTOBER 2015 tralia, and Baxter Pharmaceuticals said it was embracing ocean shipping as part of a full-blown intermodal approach to supply chain management. The migration of pharmaceuticals from a i r ca rgo to ocea n is actua lly less of a revolution than a convergence of business factors. In recent yea rs, reefer cont a i ner con st r uct ion, con- t rol led-at mosphere tech nolog y a nd sophisticated software have improved d ra mat ica l ly. But t he pha r maceut i- cal industr y historically has been an extremely time-sensitive business. What's changed even more than the cold chain is the pharmaceutical indus- try itself. An extraordinary number of mergers and acquisitions have occurred in recent years, and the federal govern- ment's increased involvement in health care has slashed drug prices. An even more decisive factor in the fortunes of the big pharmaceutical compa- nies is that many of their trademark brands are slipping out of patent protection, and they're facing competitive pressure from the generic drug companies. Suddenly, companies that paid rela- tively scant attention to their supply chains have come to see them as a poten- tial source of savings through operational efficiencies, a value to release some of the pressure on their bottom lines. All this has placed shipping lines and cold chain service providers in an odd position. Although they're happy for the business, the moves by big pharmaceuti- cal producers also created new concerns over such things as insurance and liability. "We're happy, but we're cautious," said Ole Schack Petersen, director of global reefer logistics for Maersk Line. "It's a great opportunity, but at the same time, we realize we have to be careful in terms of where and how we do it. It's a higher risk. Based on the sheer value of the typical pharma container, it's an entirely different kind of transport problem." CC Contact Lara L. Sowinski at "BASED ON THE SHEER VALUE OF THE TYPICAL PHARMA CONTAINER, IT'S AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT KIND OF TRANSPORT PROBLEM."

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Digital Edition - Cool Cargoes October 2015