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European Pharma Fleet: a new expansion by Kuehne+Nagel

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SCHINDELLEGI : Why Kuehne+Nagel keeps investing in its European Pharma Fleet

If you’re a regular user of European highways, you have likely shared the road with a European pharma fleet (EPF) trailer. They are easy to spot with their pristine white body and dark blue logo.

The EPF is a fleet of owned trailers which Kuehne+Nagel started to invest in to support the ambition of becoming the number one service provider for the healthcare industry.

With customized features and dual temperature capabilities, these trailers are specifically designed and configured to meet the needs of pharma manufacturers. They have been fully mapped and qualified for multiple pharma-relevant temperature ranges, both positive and negative (°C).

The first ones appeared in 2018, as Kuehne+Nagel’s response to a growing demand for more stringent GDP requirements, stricter temperature control, and higher security levels. Fast forward to 2022, the demand for pharma-qualified road freight capacity in Europe has only increased. To meet this demand, Kuehne+Nagel continues investing into expanding their fleet, also to include vehicles powered by sustainable fuels.

In 2022, 65 trailers were added to Kuehne+Nagel’s European Pharma Fleet, amounting to a total of 290 trailers.

Following the healthcare market trends, the EPF team has strengthened its fleet with additional trailers year after year. In 2022, Kuehne+Nagel invested in 65 brand new trailers, bringing the total to 290.

Road logistics is not the only mode of transport where the demand for qualified, temperature-controlled capacity is high and increasing. In recent times, Kuehne+Nagel also launched regular healthcare charters from Europe to all other continents with its Air Logistics service MedConnex. Also here the EPF’s regulated agent status has a role to play. It is able to provide pre- and post-carriage services for inter-continental Air Logistics services.

Passionate people & innovative technology at the service of the patients. In any event.

The EPF home base is at our Healthcare Hub in Contern, Luxembourg. This central location is primed to best serve the main healthcare manufacturing and distribution markets in Europe. This is also where the EPF dispatch and management team is located, and, like the fleet, the team continues to grow. Transport planners, quality specialists, maintenance managers, telematics and IT support are all working together to deliver the most reliable and agile transportation of healthcare products for patients across the continent. As the EPF control tower team watches over live GPS positioning, temperature, and security feedback from dozens of vehicles, the risk management system analyses any deviations and delays to optimise future performance.

Francis Edited

A glimpse on the screen of the trailer locations shows a particularly high density in Germany, Belgium and France—where some of the EU’s largest producers of pharmaceuticals are based. However, the fleet can also reach the most remote corners if that is what the customer needs, or help boost capacity in volatile markets.

Remember the onset of Brexit and the long traffic jams on both sides of the border? When many were reluctant to send their trucks to Dover, the EPF teams planned a dozen extra every week to support our customers and their patients.

Similarly, when Covid-19 surged in Italy, the fleet, taking every possible precaution for drivers’ well-being, increased its presence in the market to keep the healthcare supply chains moving.  And when finally the Covid-19 vaccines were approved and released in the European market, EPF played a pivotal role in the vaccine distribution effort, customising some of the vehicles to fit the specific needs of unconventional supply chains.

Continuous investments in quality and security

Technical know-how and industry experience are not built in a day. To meet the high quality and security standards expected by healthcare customers, our EFP teams receive continuous staff trainings and industry-leading equipment. Self-inspections are conducted regularly in addition to seeking external quality and security certifications.

The EPF was already handling loads with particularly high security requirements, but in December 2022 a new milestone was achieved. The EPF passed the TAPA TSR-1 certification—the highest possible security certification in place.

Considering the positive customer feedback and the rising demand for qualitative and secure logistics services, Kuehne+Nagel is strongly committed to developing its road freight capabilities further and continuing its investments in the healthcare industry in the years to come.

Pharma fleet
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