UPS gears up for some major US healthcare facilities upgrade

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Oct 30, 2019: UPS has planned major upgrades to its healthcare-dedicated warehouse and distribution network in key US markets.

According to the Atlanta-based logistics giant, 1.3 million square feet of total distribution space will be added to its healthcare network. With these upgrades, US healthcare warehouse and distribution space will total 4 million square feet by 2020.

In addition, UPS received European Union’s Good Distribution Practice (GDP) compliance certification for its healthcare operations in France and Germany. This GDP certification validates the France and Germany networks as following proper standards for shipping pharmaceuticals, diagnostic products (including reagents), and stable blood products.

Panalpina’s Frankfurt healthcare logistics center receives GDP certification

Among the largest upgrades include a new 450,000 square-foot facility near the healthcare campus by UPS’s Worldport air hub in Louisville.

A new center in Harrisburg, PA, will measure 315,000 square feet and strategically located near UPS’s local transportation hub that has the capability of reaching key Northeast markets in one day. The center is also near UPS’s Swedesboro, NJ, healthcare operations.

This Swedesboro facility, opened in 2015, is the first in the UPS network to offer medical device services such as autoclave capabilities, decontamination and replenishment of surgical kits, and instrument inspection, among other services.

The new facilities will feature climate controls and validated coolers and freezers for products requiring strict temperature environments.

Secured, special-access cages and vaults help protect high-value specialty pharmaceuticals. 

Most importantly, the upgrades meet international guidelines - including cGMP, cGDP, and PDMA regulatory mandates - and maintain applicable government accreditations and licenses. 

Other cities with expanded healthcare warehouse space will include: Atlanta, GA; Columbus, OH; Reno, NV; and Tracy, CA.

Darren Cockrel, UPS president of global logistics, UPS said: “We align our healthcare distribution network to deliver a broader 1-2 day coverage, giving customers transit time benefits and later pickups they need to provide competitive advantage, said Dan Gagnon, UPS vice president of global healthcare and life science strategy.

UPS’s healthcare warehouse network is built on integrated solutions across air freight, distribution, small package and ground freight with the ability to access patient populations in markets around the world. 

Service technology and expertise include customs brokerage, FDA-validated warehouse management systems, repackaging, kitting, stock rotation, box density optimization, returns management and more.

UPS recently announced a new healthcare product line, UPS Premier, which leverages UPS’s Smart Global Logistics Network package tracking capabilities, combined with new, next-generation, on-package sensor technology to enable priority flow paths, sortation, contingency actions and delivery services for critical healthcare shipments. The line is part of an expansive effort to retrofit UPS’s facility network with smart, IoT systems to track healthcare packages. 

UPS also formed the new business unit called UPS Healthcare and Life Sciences, and redesigned its quality management system for storage, inventory management and distribution of healthcare products.

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