Global pharmaceutical sales are forecast to reach $1.3 trillion in a couple of years, and, by 2018, emerging countries including China, India, Brazil, Russia, and Mexico are expected to account for nearly 50 percent of the growth in drug spending globally.
Pharmaceutical products are often temperature-sensitive and require controls applicable to other perishables.

These emerging markets present new opportunities for pharmaceuticals exporters. But the increased volumes of shipments and the growing diversity of their destinations, demand enhancements to cold chain infrastructure, services, and technologies.

Among recent developments in this area, Yusen Logistics announced the opening of a dedicated pharmaceuticals gateway at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport last year. This new operation marked the launch of the company’s global pharma airfreight services.

The operation links Yusen Logistics’ Antwerp import/export consolidation center and European central warehouse with its Schiphol operations, to form a multi-modal hub. Pharmaceuticals shippers are able to call for full or part-load consignments for movement by air, sea, or road.

Main destinations for Yusen Logistics’ pharmaceutical airfreight shipments from Amsterdam include JFK, Sao Paulo, Toronto, Santiago de Chile, Japan, Korea, Manila, and Sydney. Products handled include prescription medicines, vaccines, antibiotics, biotechnologies, and healthcare equipment.

Miami International Airport has partnered with Brussels Airport to create an international pharmaceuticals air hub alliance. The alliance aims to build a network of airports dedicated to growing the global pharmaceuticals industry. Miami and Brussels are the first two airports in the world to be designated as pharmaceuticals freight hubs by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The total value of pharma products transported through Miami has increased by 62 percent since 2010 to $3 billion in 2015.

The express delivery company TNT signed up two global customers for its new cold chain packaging and shipping solution Medpak VI°C, which launched in April. One is a leading clinical trial company; the other is a global biotech company.

Medpak VI°C is a reusable temperature-controlled packaging network service. The service comes with tracking and monitoring solutions to ensure compliant cold chain management. Medpak VI°C uses patented packaging technology from the German company va-Q-tec, a solution that uses phase change materials and vacuum insulation panels to keep temperature-sensitive packages within defined temperature ranges.

DHL Global Forwarding recently introduced its new LifeTrack mobile app that provides users access to DHL’s online cold chain tracking and management platform. The app gives users in the healthcare industry an overview of their shipments, alerts about any in-transit issues, and support through access to cold chain experts.

Onset, a supplier of temperature monitoring solutions, recently introduced an Android mobile app, to supplement its existing iOS app, for the company’s pharmaceutical cold chain monitoring systems. The app enables users to view temperature data from Onset loggers, check their status, set alarms, and create and share reports from Android mobile devices.

Onset monitors were designed to simplify compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccine monitoring guidelines. The new Android app enables data download in seconds and helps users meet regulatory compliance requirements.