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Pharma manufacturers ⁠must abandon just-in-time model

World Courier’s director of business development and commercial products commends the robust supply chain, warns that pandemic’s effects aren’t over

Logistics companies worldwide have grown deeply familiar this year with pivoting on a dime, but the pharmaceutical supply chain in particular has proven its robustness. In an interview with FreightWaves, Trip House, director of business development and commercial products in North America for World Courier, an AmerisourceBergen company, shared how weathering past disruptions like the Ebola outbreak and Iceland’s 2010 volcano eruption taught World Courier to always have a backup plan, as well as the capability to maintain temperatures.

“[Pharma manufacturers] have to have a backup supplier when outsourcing transport of their API, drug product or clinical supplies,” said House. “The key to being agile and in order to better position the product, you have to be closer to your patient. You have to get away from that just-in-time model that we had all gotten so accustomed to.”

To reduce risk and keep stock close to the patient, World Courier has over 140 offices in 50 countries, including strategically placed depots and 3PL services and offering an end-to-end chain of custody with customer-specific procedures. When asked what’s next for the logistics industry, House remained cautious: “We’ve got a long ways to go in this fight. 

“We’re still seeing spikes in cases worldwide,” House said. “With new cases come new barriers and you have regulations across countries that may not be aligned. It’s a global crisis with specific local implications. It means we need to be prepared for a continuing change in the supply chain and retain the increased awareness we’ve developed medium to long term.”

Corrie White

Corrie is fascinated how the supply chain is simultaneously ubiquitous and invisible. She covers freight technology, cross-border freight and the effects of consumer behavior on the freight industry. Alongside writing about transportation, her poetry has been published widely in literary magazines. She holds degrees in English and Creative Writing from UNC Chapel Hill and UNC Greensboro.