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DHL develops technology for life services and healthcare logistics

DHL technology

DHL Global Forwarding has announced a series of technology enhancements to its Life Sciences and Healthcare logistics services.

From the disruption in logistics prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic to the increasing regulatory requirements for the shipment of life science and health commodities globally, customers are facing a growing set of demands when shipping pharmaceutical products of all types.

DHL Global Forwarding, global head of temperature management solutions, Patricia Cole, said: “At DHL Global Forwarding we partner with our life sciences and healthcare customers to develop ground-breaking technologies to facilitate their logistical needs. Due to the unprecedented challenges unchained by the pandemic and its aftermath, it prompted us to expedite the rollout of these innovations, in order to more quickly support our customers to navigate this fluid environment.”

The set of technology enhancements includes improvements to three Life Sciences and Healthcare offerings:

1.    Lane risk assessment 2.0. Since launching its Lane Risk Assessment tool in 2016, DHL has improved its methodology, regularly incorporating new Critical to Quality (CTQ) risk factors essential in the transportation of therapeutic compounds.

In order to continue supporting clients to abide by the growing regulatory demands for risk assessment data reporting, DHL has designed a new iteration of the tool, drawing on the expanded collection and incorporation of new data from sophisticated IOT devices and sensors.

The new tool incorporates expanded risk factors, such as extreme ambient weather data, pharmaceutical trade lane certifications for ports, and updated packaging profiles.This  will provide customers more targeted analysis, greater agility and foresight, allowing them to better mitigate issues like temperature excursions, optimise shipping processes and reduce quality and distribution issues. Additionally, access to a pseudonymised data pool that will allow customers improved benchmarking capabilities vis-a-vis industry peers.

2.    Digitised standard operating procedures (SOPs). Lengthy and inefficient traditional SOP documents can cost customers time and money. To remedy this, DHL has worked with one of the world’s largest biopharmaceutical companies to extract critical to quality elements from traditional SOP documents, creating an integrated one-page digitised product that provides customers key statistics required for continuous improvement analyses.

By optimising the data extraction process and implementing searchable tools through advanced filter functionality, the digitalised SOP reduces the time required to find critical information and conduct streamline gap analyses for missing SOPs or trade lanes. This makes customers’ decision making and evaluation capabilities more efficient, ultimately saving money by reducing quality approval timelines.

3.    New LifeTrack user interface. A sleek and streamlined DHL LifeTrack, the dedicated temperature controlled shipment tracking portal, provides cold chain customers access to near-real time data analytics, digitised SOP information, and the new Lane Risk Assessment tool. The interface provides expanded functionalities such as the ability to message a DHL Life Sciences and Health Care expert directly.

On the new LifeTrack portal, DHL LifeConEx and Thermonet customers will be able to access more advanced data analytics and reporting functionalities, while LifeConEx customers will have access to pseudonymised temperature data, helping them to speed up trade lane and packaging qualification times, expediting the delivery of products to markets and saving millions in avoided delays.

“As one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical industry freight forwarders, DHL Global Forwarding continuously strives to improve processes and outcomes for our customers. The latest iteration of technology tools are designed to help our customers achieve an enhanced level of regulatory and standards compliance, while decreasing issues in distribution,” added Cole.

“Ultimately, our aim is to provide customers with the most data-driven approach so they can move from reacting to passive and descriptive analytics to optimising their supply chain logistics based on predictive, diagnostic, proactive and recommendations-based data. By providing our customers more agility during these uncertain times, they can better plan and adapt accordingly”.

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