DHL launches temperature controlled air freight service

Published: 11-Jun-2013

DHL Thermonet sets \'industry-changing\' standards for temperature-controlled air freight services for the life sciences and healthcare sectors

DHL Global Forwarding, the air and ocean freight specialist within German Post DHL, has launched DHL Thermonet, an air freight product tailored to the life sciences and healthcare sector. This global service is a new addition to DHL's network of life sciences and healthcare facilities and offers customers a transparent and a regulatory compliant platform, enabling them to manage their temperature-sensitive shipments of pharmaceutical products and medical devices.

DHL Thermonet provides higher visibility by integrating proactive monitoring and intervention 24 hours a day 365 days a year, using smart sensor RFID technology developed in-house by DHL's Solutions & Innovation division. The smart sensor monitors the ambient temperature of the shipment while in transit. As an optional service, near-product temperature during transport can be recorded using the Smart Sensor XP technology, enabling more targeted intervention.

The data collected by the smart sensor automatically uploads to the LifeTrack IT platform via a web portal. Developed specifically for the life sciences and healthcare sector by LifeConEx, a subsidiary of DHL Global Forwarding, LifeTrack is the integrated operational tool for all logistical and temperature data, from creation through standard operating procedures, shipment monitoring and intervention, for DHL Thermonet. In addition, LifeTrack simplifies and automates document control and change management.

'The life sciences and healthcare industry is a key sector for DHL and we are investing heavily in new products and services to provide comprehensive solutions to the needs of our customers,' says Roger Crook, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight and Executive Board sponsor for the life sciences and healthcare sector.

Temperature-sensitive products currently make up a quarter of global pharmaceutical sales. Due to the industry's increasing shift from chemical-based to biotech and speciality drugs, growth of this segment is expected to accelerate, generating 50%t of sales within the next five years. Consequently, temperature-controlled supply chains will become even more important.

'The current situation within the life sciences and healthcare market, facing an increasingly regulated environment, demands a higher level of service compliance. By means of DHL Thermonet we will meet our customers' requirements, enhance our cold chain activities and expand our market-leading capabilities in life sciences and healthcare, one of DHL's key focus sectors,' says Angelos Orfanos, President, Life Sciences and Healthcare DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation.

DHL Global Forwarding's network of Life Sciences Competence Centre will be certified through global internal audit process based on Good Distribution Practices and upgraded to DHL Life Science certified stations. Additionally, a life sciences-specific training programme has been launched to ensure a global knowledge standard of DHL Global Forwarding's dedicated life sciences staff.

DHL Global Forwarding is currently focusing on its base of more than 30 life sciences competence centres around the globe, where it is implementing the DHL Thermonet standard. The service will continue to be rolled out in 2014, targeting 60 stations by the end of the year. Further network expansion is planned.

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