Middle East Pharmaceutical Logistics
- Middle East Pharmaceutical Logistics (Jan – Week 4)
Pharmaceutical supply chains are one of the most complicated logistics processes. Not only they have to meet stringent border and temperature control regulations across regions, but logistics providers also have to guarantee the integrity and security of the products throughout the process. It comes as no surprise that, according to the Global Pharmaceutical Logistics Report produced by UK-based analysts Transport Intelligence, drug manufacturers can often be reluctant to outsource their pharmaceutical supply chains to third-party logistics (3PL) providers.
However, as the complexity of the supply chain increases, the need to outsource to a regional logistics expert could be the key to have a successful supply chain. In the Middle East, with its warm climate and complicated customs control regulations, the transportation and distribution of highly regulated, temperature-sensitive products requires special consideration. Furthermore, with regional countries such as Egypt and Jordan continuing to be important manufacturers of drugs, and the Saudi Arabia and the UAE key importers, the business prospects for the logistics industry have never been better. However, in order to capitalize on this lucrative market, the regional logistics sector has to first convince the pharmaceutical manufacturers that it is up for the challenge.(1)
Third-party logistics providers work as all in one solution for every aspect of the chain from assembly, to picking and packing, to warehousing, to distribution and to shipping. (2)
MEALIS- Middle East and Africa Life Science, being a regional representative of global market-leading healthcare manufacturers, was assigned by one of its suppliers “Mallinckrodt” to manage the regional logistics from A to Z and successfully managed the INBOUND (Manufacturer -> Supplier -> Regional distributor) and OUTBOUND shipping operations (Regional distributor -> Sub distributor -> End-user) with the support of DHL.
Through the Inbound procedure, MEALIS responsibilities were to:
- Receive the orders from our local sub distributors through the MENA region
- Place the order with the supplier “Mallinckrodt”.
- Follow up with the supplier to make sure the order is allocated and is going to be shipped on due time.
- Ensure that all shipping documents are well prepared and legalized at the country of origin according to the guidelines.
- Provide all the documents needed to the local shipping forwarder in Lebanon to be able to clear the shipment successfully from the customs and transfer it to MEALIS warehouse.
- Make a physical inspection in the warehouse after the order is received.
- Receive a stock count report from DHL after every shipment to make sure that all items received match with what is invoiced and placed in the system.
Through the Outbound procedure, MEALIS is supposed to:
- Follow up with the sub-distributor to receive the import approval from local authorities before proceeding with the shipment.
- Fill a report, for each order placed, with all the items that need to be allocated and packed, highlighting the correct lot number and expiry date if available.
- Prepare MEALIS invoice, packing list and AWB and send them to the sub-distributor for prior approval before shipping.
- Legalize the Certificate of Origin and Invoice by the Chamber of Commerce, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the concerned embassy.
- Send original shipping documents to the local freight forwarder to move the packed shipment from the warehouse and re-export it to different countries in the region.
Throughout this process, MEALIS was able to fulfill the needs of the supplier and the sub distributors successfully and on timely manner.
Having a big stock of medical spare parts and disposables and fulfilling customer’s requirements is quiet challenging, since each country has its own shipping process. MEALIS logistics team had to follow different operating procedures for each country in the region and was able to meet customers’ needs within the requested period.
- References for article A. Middle East Pharmaceutical Logistics (Jan – Week 4)
- Analysis: Middle East pharmaceutical logistics
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