AZ renews pan European contract with Yusen Logistics

Distributes more than 200,000 pallets of products a year for Anglo-Swedish pharma firm

Yusen Logistics has renewed its longstanding contract with AstraZeneca

Yusen Logistics, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, has secured a major pan European contract renewal with AstraZeneca for the distribution of the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical firm’s prescription drugs.

The two companies have been partners since 2007, when Yusen Logistics was appointed to work with AstraZeneca on the creation of a lean supply chain.

Prior to this, AstraZeneca’s manufacturing plants had operated independently and managed their own transportation. The original project was therefore a radical departure from the previous transportation model.

Yusen Logistics’ solution, which uses its secure European pharmaceutical distribution network, called the Superhighway, has facilitated a fundamental re-engineering of AstraZeneca’s business and has delivered significant benefits. The company, for example, can co-load product from multiple plants, as well as with other pharmaceutical manufacturers within the network.

The Superhighway now carries volumes for more than 30 pharmaceutical manufacturers at any one time, delivering significant economies of scale to all parties.

The service has also enabled AstraZeneca to establish common quality and security standards across Europe, as well as developing a long-term cost reduction and continuous improvement culture.

The relationship is one that has matured since its inception

Julian Wann, Global Category Lead, Freight & Logistics, AstraZeneca, said: ‘The relationship is one that has matured since its inception, as we have identified new requirements Yusen Logistics has been proactive in developing solutions that meet all our needs. We are looking for freight suppliers who bring valued solutions while continually delivering improvement in process and service. We feel that Yusen Logistics has delivered on all counts and therefore merits the extension to the current agreement.’

The Yusen Logistics operation involves the temperature-controlled distribution of more than 200,000 pallets of product a year from AstraZeneca’s manufacturing plants and third party manufacturers in Europe, as well as products arriving from Australia, India, Japan, Puerto Rico and the US.

Deliveries are now being made to nearly 300 points throughout Europe.

The Yusen Logistics Superhighway is based on a network of specialist pharmaceutical hubs, which consolidate and cross-dock product for onward delivery throughout Western and Eastern Europe and beyond. The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) licensed approved hubs in Belgium and the UK also manage global inbound/outbound shipments by air and sea.

Superhighway movements are managed by the Yusen Logistics 'Control Tower' which provides an aerial view across Europe. This allows centralised planning of pan-European transport movements to maximise vehicle utilisation, reduce costs and deliver environmental benefits, while ensuring product integrity at all times.

All vehicles used are temperature-controlled and have GPS tracking, ensuring total control. For narcotics, additional controls are in place to ensure safe delivery.

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