Nippon Express is developing pharmaceutical supply chain networks that meet both hardware and software requirements for Good Distribution Practices (standards for ensuring proper distribution of pharmaceuticals; from now on, “GDP”), thereby enabling the safer and more secure supply of pharmaceuticals.
Given the globalization of pharmaceutical supply chains, the company will also be setting up GDP-compliant business locations in major markets worldwide to enhance its supply networks globally. Furthermore, Nippon Express will be looking to employ the digital technologies of IoT and blockchain to track logistics information end-to-end, doing its part to optimize supply chains for the industry as a whole via a data-driven approach offers traceability and increased operational efficiency.
The “Nippon Express Group Management Plan 2023 — Dynamic Growth” deems strengthening the company’s three approaches — a customer or industry-based approach, a business-based approach, and an area-based approach — a priority within the Plan’s “Growth Strategy for Core Businesses.” In determining how to tailor services to individual customers’ needs optimally, Nippon Express is focusing particular efforts on the customer or industry-based approach that looks at services from a customer perspective.
According to the press statement, to ensure it has in place the extensive expertise and strict quality control required for pharmaceutical logistics, Nippon Express created a Pharmaceuticals Business Division and a Pharmaceuticals Logistics Quality Assurance Office in July 2020 to establish uniform Group-wide standards on operational frameworks, human resource development, quality assurance regimes. Global Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Networks to enable the safe and secure supply of pharmaceuticals service to begin in Japan next spring and globally after that
Constructing supply networks in Japan
Nippon Express is currently setting up pharmaceutical-specific facilities in East Japan, West Japan, Kyushu, and Toyama to complement the “medical hubs” of Narita International Airport and Kansai International Airport, which have long been involved in the import and export of raw materials and finished products.
These facilities will be equipped to handle GDP-compliant quality control and business continuity plans (BCPs) about pharmaceutical supply. Platforms will be constructed to allow for joint warehouse storage and transport, operations previously carried out on an individual customer basis, to cope with the shortages of truck drivers stemming from the round use of vehicles, and to achieve greater operational efficiency. These facilities will go into service in February 2021.
Expanding on a global level
Nippon Express is drawing fully on its global network’s strengths to link up infrastructure and forwarding functions in developing overseas logistics networks that guarantee safety on a global level as required for pharmaceutical logistics.
More specifically, the company is building GDP-compliant CFS at key pharmaceutical business locations overseas. It has already opened GDP-certified CFS in London and Milan, which both host clusters of manufacturers of new drugs, and India, where generics drive robust market growth; in the US, the world’s largest market, GDP certification was acquired in Chicago. In addition to enhancing business locations in Europe and the US, Nippon Express plans to obtain GDP certification in Asian countries where medical services are becoming more widely accessible.
The company will continue enhancing its network in the future through M&A deals and other means to offer storage and distribution logistics in major markets around the world.
Increasing supply chain sophistication via a data-driven approach
Nippon Express established a new Digital Platform Strategy Office in April 2020 to provide the pharmaceutical industry and other industries with solutions designed to optimize their supply chains fully.
Construction is underway on a digital platform for the pharmaceutical industry that will utilize IoT devices and blockchain technology to link temperature control and other logistics information end-to-end. There are plans to make use of the logistics information to develop commercial distribution services.
The company is also teaming up with industry officials to consider making this digital platform an open one so that interested parties can make joint use of it.
In pursuit of its social mission of becoming a driving force in society’s development through logistics, Nippon Express will be making full use of its global pharmaceutical supply networks to serve its customers in the pharmaceutical industry and create new value through logistics.