03 April 2014

[0304014.EN.BIZ] DHL Joins Pharma Race As Asians Grows Older, Affluent And Needy

DEUTSCHE POST DHL has launched a dedicated 747-400 freighter flight using temperature control signalling the start of competitive offers from carriers for health care sector at a time when growth in global cargo volumes is challenged. 

Its subsidiary LifeConEx says health care traffic to Asia feeds on a growing middle class and ageing population. Its CEO David Bang is bullish given LifeConEx's multi-modal cold chain capabilities in and out of India and China, reported Atlanta area Air Cargo World.

DHL faces competition on these routes. Singapore's Changi Airport remains the leading player in its latest perishables facility, opened by dnata, which boasts a modular cold storage design with dedicated climate control capability and a web-based monitoring system.

UPS has opened three health care facilities during last year in Asia supported by competent supply chains, including its 18,952-square metre facility in Hangzhou, China dedicated to pharma manufacturers in the area.

A 6,540-square metre building is adjacent to its main hub in Shanghai focusing on the medical device market. It also has a 4,645-square-metre terminal at Sydney for its regional healthcare.

Mr Bang aims to expand further to add to its existing nine certified life sciences stations in the region in Bangkok, Osaka, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Guangzhou.

"DHL's major growth in Asia is coming from India and China, while Korea and Japan are also steady but mainly import-driven," said Mr Bang, adding that fast-growing biotech firms are gaining official approvals in the EU and the Americas

Rival logistics operators such as DB Schenker have opened temp-controlled storage facilities near Seoul of 6,100 square metres following the opening of speciality hubs in India and the Philippines that control cargo at storage at 2-8 and 15-25 degrees Celsius (35.6-46.4 and 59-77 degrees Fahrenheit).

Even airlines, like Korean Air, are looking to tap the pharma market following the quality enhancement provided by the Envirotainer accreditations of seven stations in the US and in Sao Paulo.

The number of airports in Asia which do provide adequate +2 to +8C storage availability has improved along with training at ground handling level but there is still room for improvement in cool room capabilities and customs processes for active cool containers and auxiliary tracking devices, he added.

Source : HKSG.

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