Global Shipping & Logistics (GSL) recently entered the pharma logistics space after four decades of operations in the FMCG and frozen-foods verticals and is now the only 3PL in the UAE with an on-shore Pharma license.
According to Khalid Al Shirawi, CEO, Global Shipping & Logistics, it was a natural evolution for GSL. “It was only natural for us, with our cold chain expertise to move into the Pharma world because of the similarity of the service requirements between them such as cold chain integrity, traceability of goods, FEFO and FIFO management,” he says.
“We cater to a niche set of customers as of now and believe that the Pharma sector has a lot of potential for a high quality solution provider like GSL. All we have to do is continue to impress our customer’s with our world class warehousing and supply chain solutions so that they can leave their logistics challenges with us and can themselves concentrate on what they do best (developing and selling medicines),” Al Shirawi adds.
Pharmaceutical companies need to run very tightly controlled logistics operations because of the critical nature of their goods. Medicines and medical equipment are meant for saving lives and the integrity of their supply chain is paramount. Because of this, Al Shirawi believes GSL is able to bring something new to the sector.
“In the past, pharma companies did not have any on-shore options to choose from, we believe that companies that want to increase their flexibility, enjoy swifter market response times, improve visibility of their products and have higher operational savings will choose our solution to retain their competitive edge,” he says.
“Without the additional paperwork and queuing that freezone operations have to factor into their go-to-market strategy, our clients can have products on the shelf within hours instead of days,” he adds. “For some high-value goods this also becomes a position of advantage for the Pharma distributions channels, i.e. the pharmacies that do not need to purchase expensive medicines until the point they have firm orders and with our piece picking operations and UAE wide distribution network, we can ensure the right medicine in the right hands at the right time.”