Mar 14, 2013

Astra Zeneca Renews pan European Operation with Yusen Logistics

Yusen Logistics has secured a major contract renewal with AstraZeneca for the pan European distribution of their prescription drugs.

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

Prior to Yusen Logistics’ appointment, AstraZeneca’s manufacturing plants operated independently and were responsible for managing their own transportation. The original project therefore represented a radical departure from the previous transportation model.

The Yusen Logistics solution, which utilises its high security European pharmaceutical distribution network “the Superhighway”, has facilitated a fundamental re-engineering of AstraZeneca’s business delivering significant benefits. It has enabled AstraZeneca to exploit opportunities to co-load product from multiple plants, as well as with other pharmaceutical manufacturers within the network.

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

The solution 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.

Julian Wann, Global Category Lead: Freight & Logistics, at AstraZeneca, commented: “The relationship is one that has matured since its inception, as we have identified new requirements Yusen Logistics have been proactive in developing solutions that meet all our needs. We are looking for freight suppliers who bring valued solutions whilst continually delivering improvement in process and service, we feel that Yusen Logistics has delivered on all counts and therefore merit the extension to the current agreement. We look forward to developing the current relationship more as our business demands it”.

The Yusen Logistics operation involves the temperature-controlled distribution of over 200,000 pallets of product per annum 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, as far east as Russia and Turkey.

The Yusen Logistics Superhighway is based on a strategic network of specialist pharmaceutical hubs which consolidate and cross-dock product for onward delivery throughout Western and Eastern Europe and beyond. The 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 means of 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, whilst ensuring product integrity at all times.

Utilising a combination of own resources and those of carefully selected partners, Yusen Logistics provides solutions to highly complex supply chain requirements. All vehicles used are temperature controlled and have GPS tracking, ensuring total control. For narcotics additional controls are in place to ensure safe delivery.

Looking to the future, Yusen Logistics and AstraZeneca will continue to work together to further optimise this high security network on an ongoing basis.