Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

DHL adds competency centres to European monitored cold-chain network

Steve Rogerson
June 30, 2015
DHL Freight has integrated three more certified life sciences and healthcare competency centres to its LTL (less than truckload) cold-chain network. With added stations in Lyon, Milan and Madrid, DHL is extending its services for temperature controlled road freight shipments across Europe.
Targeting the life sciences and healthcare industry, an integrated suite provides services tailored for these customers' needs, as well as an IT platform called CoolTrack that allows continuous monitoring and real-time tracking of cargo temperature via GPS.
"Our customers in the life sciences and healthcare sector are looking for better ways to manage the risk of product damage and loss from temperature deviations in increasingly long and diverse supply chains," said Amadou Diallo, CEO of Germany-based DHL Freight. “With DHL's pan-European LTL cold-chain network we are embedding the new standard for cold-chain road freight transport further into Europe.”
The dock centres in Milan, Lyon and Madrid have been added to the network in the course of the last month. The first two are certified against the European GDP good distribution practice, while the competency centre in Madrid is being audited and will receive its GDP certification shortly. The next competency centre in Budapest will be added to the network within the next couple of weeks. With this network expansion, DHL Freight addresses the growing demand coming from new life sciences and healthcare manufacturers in southern and eastern Europe.
DHL's cold-chain service runs twice a week according to a schedule. The central routing of cargo takes place via the cross-docking centre in Mechelen, Belgium, from where shipments can be further transported under predefined temperature conditions (2 to 8ËšC or 15 to 25ËšC) to 30 countries in Europe.
"With the further expansion of our cold-chain network into southern and eastern Europe, we address the increasing demand of the new and upcoming manufacturing companies in the region," said Thomas Ellmann, vice president at DHL Freight. "Customers recognise that our cold-chain network and tailored solutions can support their growth aspirations and at the same time cater for their various needs."
In recent years, temperature controlled products for the pharmaceutical industry have gained significantly in importance. The driving force is the new European GDP guideline, which puts the transport of temperature sensitive products under strict compliance requirements. In accordance with the new regulations, the industry is required to transport goods at temperature levels that are registered for storage conditions.
DHL’s cold chain provides seamless temperature visibility along the supply chain with round-the-clock proactive monitoring that is GDP certified. Temperature data and logistics events can be accessed via the CoolTrack IT platform, facilitating early intervention and simplifying document control. The IT platform is provided by Agheera, a DHL Freight sister company that specialises in telematics and big data.
Due to many factors that need to be considered when transporting temperature sensitive products, there is no one size fits all in pharmacy distribution. To cater for the specific requirements of its life sciences and healthcare customers, DHL Freight is developing services that provide customers with flexibility. The suite provides, for example, dedicated services for high value transports and especially short lead-time requirements.
The company's temperature-controlled road freight network is connected seamlessly with other modes of transport, such as rail, air or ocean freight and therewith offers customers, in cooperation with DHL Global Forwarding and DHL Supply Chain, an integrated service.