The Benefits of a Network Approach in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

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Issue Month: March 2023

The importance of a lean pharmaceutical supply chain

Operating a lean pharmaceutical supply chain is all about maximising efficiency when delivering products to the end customer, whilst simultaneously minimising cost and waste within a well-designed and well-managed supply chain.

This is an incredibly important factor in the pharmaceutical industry, with more and more companies now requiring their suppliers to operate not only streamlined and lean, but adaptable supply chains in order to transport products over extended distances quickly and efficiently.

For Tower Cold Chain, operating a cold supply chain system means that the avoidance of waste, damage of goods and the ability to remain flexible in order to alleviate any delays or unexpected circumstances is crucial. By offering a global network which includes hubs all over the world, Tower ensures that the logistical needs of pharmaceutical and life-science customers are always met and that the supply chain remains versatile.

The benefits of a global network

With 18 hubs in 15 different countries, Tower is able to guarantee the proximity and availability of our containers so that whenever needed, they are accessible for pharmaceutical, life-science and airline business delivery from in and around hub locations to almost anywhere across the globe.

The continuous regulatory change within the industry means that pharmaceutical companies and logistics providers must always be considering the pharmaceutical regulations within each specific country, in order to offer compliance for every customer, no matter the location. From a business perspective, hubs are also a key way to strengthen a company’s global presence and boost the local economy by providing jobs in the area.

Having a growing global logistics network and agreements with key airlines is not only beneficial for customers but a huge advantage for 3PLs who are looking to lease Tower products and hubs in a range of multiple locations, for both global and regional customers. The flexibility of a lean network approach means Tower can integrate their products seamlessly into supply chains all over the world.

Organisations that can offer pharmaceutical manufacturers and 3PLs a wide range of hubs across multiple countries are always in a strong position to become a strategic partner of choice. Wide-spread hubs can provide the benefits of localised sourcing, and minimal wasted movement of products whilst providing customers with that extra level of product assurance and efficiency.

Once a Tower temperature-controlled container has been used, upon return all containers will be thoroughly inspected and cleaned, providing a circular global solution. The sustainable and reusable nature of Tower’s passive containers mean that by streamlining its pharmaceutical supply chain, products can move back through the chain effortlessly which  allows Tower to capitalise on its strong hub networks – reaping the benefits of sustainability credentials, cost savings and customer satisfaction.

Return logistics of empty containers is another area which is gaining focus by all parties in the distribution process. This is a critical piece of the ‘re-usable’ credential and is a challenging logistical exercise requiring energy and cost-efficient solutions to reposition stock ready for its next deployment. To achieve this, the most energy efficient movement is typically by sea as opposed to air when the pharmaceutical product is involved. This variation in cycle-time has a significant bearing on how many containers are required for each shipping lane. Add to this the current challenges of global distribution and the need to hold an appropriate amount of stock in the right locations to meet customer demand, and the logistical implications quickly become evident.

For Tower, our international hub network will continue to develop and expand over the course of 2023, following the most recent opening of our operational offices in Singapore. With new service centres opening across the APAC, EMEA and the Americas regions improving the proximity and availability of Tower containers is the securest way to reduce the risk of disruption, and fulfil out intrinsic values of getting our customers products delivered on time, undamaged and with zero temperature excursions.

Our aim is to have products in stock and available to dispatch pre-conditioned and ready to use within 24 hours of order or less, offering unmatched reliability for customers. Take a look at our hub map to see where you can find your nearest Tower hub: