UPS expands clinical trial logistics capabilities

Key investments in technology, temperature-control capabilities and customer service aim to make the company a global leader in biological specimen transportation


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UPS announced a significant global expansion of its healthcare-specific capabilities to support clinical trials.

UPS's investments in a range of specialized solutions will help pharmaceutical companies and clinical investigators move sensitive materials and specimens globally, particularly in and out of complex geographies.

Building on its expansive, integrated network, UPS has made improvements specifically targeted to meet strict clinical trial logistics requirements.

Enhancements include: development of an easy-to-use shipping system for clinical investigator sites; an expansion of the healthcare control tower network, package intercept and re-icing capabilities; and upgraded operations to move temperature-sensitive biological specimens in and out of more than 60 countries more efficiently.

Making these investments, together with utilizing an established network of local specialty couriers, helps UPS serve the clinical trial research community by providing efficiency in the transport of specimens without sacrificing service.

Given the global reach of clinical studies, streamlined logistics are an increasingly important component of successful trials.

UPS is well-poised to serve this expanding market, with capabilities that cover many geographies, from San Francisco to Sao Paulo, or Bangkok to Berlin.

"As innovation in the biopharma industry evolves - and with the emergence of personalized therapies and growing direct-to-patient trends - research and development activity will only increase around the world. Our cost-effective portfolio streamlines logistics for clinical trials into one global network across sometimes remote, hard-to-reach locations," said Mr Habib N'Konou, UPS senior operations director for clinical trials. "With drug research taking years at a cost in the billions, a product loss or damage, including falling out of temperature range, could mean a costly setback. Our recent improvements to our network will reduce product loss or damage."

UPS mitigates risks by employing world-class air freight and small package solutions for Investigational Medicinal Products, specimen kits, ancillary supplies, and medical devices to and from investigator sites, contract research organizations, and diagnostic centers.

Its customs brokerage team, one of the world's largest, helps shippers navigate international regulations and avoid costly delays.

"Improved health outcomes through sophisticated drugs and vaccines starts with successful clinical trials," said Mr Geoff Light, UPS vice president of global healthcare strategy. "Optimized logistics is an integral component of medical research and development, and our goal is to help clinical investigators reach any part of the world with maximum efficiency. We will continue to invest in the right global solutions with the aim of becoming the preeminent leader in biological specimen transportation."

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